Japan, US holding joint drills in response to DPRK's missile test
The drills come after DPRK's first missile test in 5 years.
Warplanes from the United States and Japan are carrying out joint drills in response to the DPRK's ballistic missile launch, according to Japanese officials.
Japanese Joint Staff reported 8 Japanese and 4 US fighter jets taking part in airborne drills west of the Japanese Kyushu region.
"As the security environment surrounding Japan grows increasingly severe, including North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, the [Japanese] Self-Defense Forces, and the US military conducted a joint exercise," the Joint Staff said in a statement.
The statement wrote that the two forces "confirmed their readiness and demonstrated domestically and abroad the strong determination of Japan and the United States to deal with any situation.
The announcement was made shortly after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke with the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino.
Kishida noted that he would be holding telephone talks with US President Joe Biden "to reaffirm the strong coordination between the leaders of Japan and the United States".
This morning, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, reportedly forcing Japan to issue a warning for its citizens to take cover.
Tokyo said the missile’s 4,600 km range was feasibly the longest for a North Korean test flight, which are typically "lofted" higher into space to evade flying over neighboring countries.
The missile flew between 4,500 and 4,600 kilometers to a maximum altitude of about 1,000 kilometers, according to officials in Tokyo and Seoul.
The latest launch was Pyongyang's fifth in ten days, as the US, South Korea, and Japan flexed their military muscles; last week, the three countries held trilateral anti-submarine exercises, which included a visit by a US aircraft carrier to South Korea for the first time since 2017.
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