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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Japan, US conduct joint drill amid tension in Asia-Pacific

6 fighter jets take part in military drill over Sea of Japan

Japan and the US carried out a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region in response to recent missile launches by North Korea, Japan’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

The US and Japan held the joint fighter jet drill over the Sea of Japan for the second time in two weeks, the ministry said in a statement.

Four F-15s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force’s Chitose base in Hokkaido and two F-16s from the US Air Force base in Misawa in Aomori Prefecture took part.

The two countries also held a similar exercise on May 25, when North Korea tested three ballistic missiles.

With its latest test on June 5, North Korea has carried out 17 missile tests since the beginning of this year.

South Korea & US launch 8 missiles

South Korea and the US fired eight missiles into the East Sea on Monday in response to North Korea’s missile launches.

The early morning missile launches “demonstrated the capability and posture to launch immediate precision strikes,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On Sunday, North Korea launched at least eight short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the third missile test since the inauguration of South’s new President Yoon-Seok-yeol last month and the 18th since the beginning of 2022.

Read more: Russia, China ditch US on North Korea, says US

The latest missile launches came two days after a joint military drill by South Korea and the US concluded in international waters off Okinawa mobilizing the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, apparently to send a stern message against North Korea’s continued missile tests.

Since last year, tensions have mounted in the Korean Peninsula as both the North and South have engaged in frequent military drills in shows of power.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk