US, South Korea, Japan hold missile defense exercise

TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (MNA) – The United States, South Korea, and Japan participated in a ballistic missile defense exercise off Hawaii's coast last week, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, reviving combined drills with an eye on North Korea as well as China.

Amid the recent tensions between Washington and its allies in East Asia with Beijing and Pyongyang, Washington held a military exercise with Seoul and Tokyo.

It was the first time the three countries have held such drills since 2017 after relations between Seoul and Tokyo hit their lowest in years in 2019 amid renewed historical disputes dating to Japan's 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, has vowed to improve relations with Japan and deepen the US alliance to better deter North Korea, including by expanding or resuming joint drills.

The missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise took place Aug. 8-14 during the multinational Pacific Dragon drills and demonstrated the three countries' commitment to respond to challenges posed by North Korea, protect shared security and bolster the rules-based international order, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The participants shared tactical data link information in accordance with a trilateral information sharing agreement, the statement said.

South Korea's ministry of defense also confirmed on Tuesday that its troops would resume long-suspended live field training during their joint military drills with the United States to be held from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1.

These military exercises have been held while the relations between the US and China have turned into darkness due to the successive visits of US officials to Taiwan, as well as North Korea's relations with its neighbors due to the insistence on the denuclearization of the country.

AY/ PR

News Code 190293

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