TEHRAN, June 2, YJC - Japan’s naval and air forces have launched a three-day joint military drill with US aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan amid tensions with North Korea over its missile and nuclear programs.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
On Thursday, Japanese destroyers Hyuga and Ashigara joined the US aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan, in the sea, which separates Japan from the Korean Peninsula, Japan’s military said.
At the same time, Japan’s Air Self Defense Force F-15s are taking part in simulated combat with US Navy F-18 fighters, the military added.
"It’s the first time we have exercised with two carriers,” said a Japanese military
spokesman. "It’s a major exercise for us.”
However, the US Seventh Fleet said on its Facebook page that the drill is "routine training to improve interoperability and readiness in the Indo-Asia Pacific.”
The US has sent its strike group to the region in what is intended to be a show of force amid North Korea’s advancing missile and military nuclear programs.
The US military has also deployed the controversial THAAD missile system to a site in South Korea to counter what it calls threats from the North.
North Korea which considers the deployments as an act of provocation, has threatened the US with a nuclear attack in case of a direct military action, Presstv reported.
US President Donald Trump has taken a very harsh stance toward North Korea since he took office four months ago. His administration has declared an end to Washington’s "strategic patience” with the North.
Japan has also been pushing to increase pressure on Pyongyang through working with other countries.
Pyongyang, however, insists that its missile and nuclear activities act as deterrence against a potential invasion by its adversaries.