US, South Korea and Japan to hold military exercises near Hawaii
The Pacific Dragon exercises will involve 8 warships and 2 aircraft.
The United States, South Korea, and Japan will be holding a joint military exercise for air defense off the coast of Hawaii from August 1 to 14, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing sources.
The exercise, named Pacific Dragon exercises, will involve 8 warships and 2 aircraft. The exercise which takes place biennially has the purpose of strengthening interoperability in detecting and tracking enemy ballistic missiles, according to its organizers.
According to Yonhap, Australia and Canada will be joining the main participants this year.
US, South Korean, and Japanese military chiefs organized the exercise on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit on June 11.
The summit, which was between Asian leaders, saw an agreement between countries to conduct missile defense exercises against the backdrop of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea's testing of ballistic missiles.
The DPRK Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that the joint US-South Korea military exercises in the future could bring the Korean Peninsula back to a state of war.
Read more: N. Korea ready to mobilize nuclear war deterrent: Kim Jong-un
Last June, the US, and Japanese forces conducted military exercises hours after North Korea (DPRK) launched ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
Kim: Washington "demonizing" Pyongyang
He considered that "The duplex act of the United States, which is misleading all the routine actions of our armed forces as 'provocation' and 'threat' while holding large-scale joint military exercises that seriously threaten our security, is literally a robbery."
"That is driving bilateral relations to the point where it is difficult to turn back, into a state of conflict," he added.
S. Korea's confrontational policy pushing situation to verge of war
In his speech, Kim criticized - for the first time - South Korea's new conservative President Yoon Suk-yeol by name, accusing him of threatening DPRK's security and right to self-defense.
Kim said that "warmongers" and "disgusting thugs" in Yoon's administration are determined to carry out confrontational military activities, adding that their "heinous confrontational policy" and "toadyish, treacherous acts" are pushing the situation to the verge of war.
It is noteworthy that in recent months, North Korea has tested hypersonic missiles and missiles that it says could carry tactical nuclear weapons.