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US Begins 2-day Trilateral Naval Drill With South Korea, Japan

The naval forces of the US, South Korea, and Japan Monday began a two-day joint maritime exercise, including anti-submarine warfare and search-and-rescue training.

According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the trilateral naval exercise was held in waters south of the Korean Peninsula which includes America’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz.

“(The anti-submarine exercise) was arranged to enhance response capabilities of South Korea, the US, and Japan against North Korea’s advancing underwater threats, including from a submarine-launched ballistic missile,” the ministry said in a statement.

Such an exercise was held last September, the first time in five years.

Pyongyang last month claimed that its military tested a new underwater nuclear weapon capable of creating a super-scale radioactive tsunami during three-day military exercises.

Seoul has deployed Yulgok YiYi, Choe Yeong, and Daejoyeong destroyers for the exercise besides the Soyang combat support ship.

Washington has sent the carrier and two destroyers, USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Decatur, while Tokyo’s JS Umigiri destroyer is taking part in the exercise.

“The anti-submarine drills will focus on enhancing the countries’ capabilities to detect, track, share information on, and defeat the North’s underwater threats,” said Seoul.

Seoul said the three navies will also hold a search-and-rescue drill, held last time in 2016 which initially began in 2008.

The trilateral drill will see three navies practice “procedures such as the prompt rescue of drowned persons and emergency treatment and transfer in the event of a marine accident.”

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