Japan, US, South Korea conduct anti-submarine defense drills in sea
Japan, the US, and South Korea's joint navy drills in a contested region begin.
The Japanese Defense Ministry announced on Friday that Japan, the United States, and South Korea are conducting trilateral anti-submarine defense exercises in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
"The exercise includes the JMSDF [Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force] destroyer JS Asahi, the Carrier Strike Group 5’s USS Ronald Reagan, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry, the ROK Navy [South Korean Navy] destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great, and a US submarine to improve JMSDF’s tactical capabilities and to strengthen cooperation among JMSDF, the US Navy and ROK Navy. Liaison officers from each country observe the exercise from each surface vessel participating," the Ministry said in a statement.
The exercise is being carried out in compliance with the agreements agreed upon at a trilateral ministerial conference on June 11. It is designed to demonstrate commitment to furthering trilateral cooperation "to respond to regional security challenges," according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.
The previous joint trilateral exercises in the Sea of Japan took place in December 2017.
Japan-South Korea-US to hold joint navy drills amid DPRK tensions
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) revealed on Thursday that it will be holding joint tactical naval exercises alongside South Korea and the US today.
The purpose of the exercises taking place in the Sea of Japan is to allegedly strengthen cooperation between the navies of the three countries.
The official statement read that "the JMSDF will conduct a trilateral exercise with the US Navy (USN) and the Republic of Korean Navy (ROKN) in order to strengthen cooperation and to realize a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific,'" adding that the drills also target developing countermeasures against submarines.
The statement revealed that the vessels that will be involved in the training are the Japanese Asahi-class destroyer, the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the US destroyers USS Barry and Benfold, the US missile cruiser Chancellorsville, and a US nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarine, as well as the South Korean Mun Mu Daewang combat ship.
US and South Korea conduct maritime drills
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, and the USS Barry, a guided missile destroyer, which anchored in Busan, South Korea on September 23, were taking part in military drills with the South Korean maritime forces on Monday, September 26.
The drills come after a day after the DPRK allegedly launched a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The drills will take place over the course of four days and are aimed to demonstrate the allies' “powerful resolve to respond to North Korean [DPRK] provocations” and advance their ability to conduct joint naval operations, according to a statement from the South Korean navy.
In addition to the US naval vessels aforementioned, the South Korean navy stated that more than 20 US and South Korean navy ships were mobilized for the drills, alongside US and South Korean fighter jets and helicopters that will also take part in the training.