S. Korea, US, Japan hold missile tracking exercise

S. Korea, US, Japan hold missile tracking exercise

Cheryl Sanders
December 11, 2017

The US, Japan and South Korea will hold a two-day missile tracking drill, Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force announced.

This week's exercise will be the sixth drill sharing information in tracking ballistic missiles among the three nations.

The two-day exercise - the sixth since June previous year - kicked off in waters near the Korean peninsula and Japan, Seoul's defence ministry said. "The military is our last line of defense against North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile threats".

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea, Japan and the United States and says its weapons programs are necessary to counter USA aggression.

"Amid the worsening security situation around our country over the continuing nuclear tests and missile launches of North Korea, the exercises are aimed at increasing coordination with the US and South Korean naval forces and strengthening relations between our countries", the headquarters said in a statement.

It did not say whether the controversial THAAD system would be involved.

The article warned US President Donald Trump that any attempt at a sea blockade, "will be followed by immediate and merciless countera-ction for self-defence from the North Korea". The US defense department has staged repeated shows of force after North Korean military tests.

The head of South Korea also said that "the goal of reforming the defense system is to create a powerful army".

The South condemned the launch and on Monday imposed new unilateral sanctions on its neighbour.

Washington is also pressuring China and other countries to cut diplomatic and trade relations with the North, as part of an worldwide effort to squeeze Pyongyang by cutting off its illegal cash flows which are widely believed to be funding the country's weapons programs.

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