US, South Korea, Japan hold military exercises off Hawaiian coast
The joint drills are a confrontational strategy against China and North Korea in Asia.
After the announcement of military drills at the end of July, the Pentagon announced that Japanese and South Korean troops join hand-in-hand with US forces for missile defense drills off the coast of Hawaii.
The anti-missile drill took place between August 8 and 14. This would mark the first time these countries execute such tripartite drills since 2017.
According to the Pentagon, the war games are meant as a response to "challenges" posed by North Korea.
This comes after drills that began on August 1 were concluded on August 14, revealing that the three military allies “participated in a missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercise” near the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, part of what they called the ‘Pacific Dragon’ exercises.
The Defense Department revealed few details about the exercises, except that the drills “demonstrated the commitment of the US, [South Korea] and Japan to furthering trilateral cooperation,” upholding the “rules-based international order,” as well as responding to “DPRK challenges."
Seoul, moreover, recently confirmed that it would resume live-fire drills with Washington later this month. South Korean forces have recently raised concerns in Beijing, which has repeatedly criticized Seoul's decision to host the US-made Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), arguing it undermines its national security.
South Korea has rejected calls to refrain from additional THAAD deployments.
Last month, the DPRK Foreign Ministry said that the joint US-South Korea military exercises in the future could bring the Korean Peninsula back to a state of war.
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.