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US Launches Naval Missile Defense Exercise With Japan, South Korea

The U.S., Japan and South Korea have begun a three-day naval defense missile exercise amid threats that North Korea may conduct a fire-test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, Stars and Stripes reported Friday.

Kim Gamel writes the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based USS Stethem Arleigh Burke-class destroyer started the missile defense drills Friday with South Korea’s Sejong the Great guided-missile destroyer and Japan’s JDS Kirishima destroyer off the coast of the South Korean peninsula and Japan.

“The U.S. Navy continually seeks every occasion to strengthen relationships and interoperability with participating allies and partners while further developing maritime capabilities and capacity,” said Lt. Josh Kelsey, a spokesman for the U.S. Naval Forces Korea.

Kelsey added the Aegis system-equipped vessels did not fire any missiles as they work to counter simulated threats in the 7th fleet area of operations, Gamel reports.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the exercise marks the third time the three countries have conducted similar missile defense drills.

 

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