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South Korea, US and Japan maintain first-ever trilateral aerial train in face of North Korean threats

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The South Korean, U.S. and Japanese militaries have held their first-ever trilateral aerial train in response to evolving North Korean nuclear threats

ByHYUNG-JIN KIM Related Press

October 22, 2023, 8:05 AM

SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean, U.S. and Japanese militaries performed their first-ever trilateral aerial train on Sunday in response to evolving North Korean nuclear threats, South Korea’s air drive mentioned.

The coaching held close to the Korean Peninsula was to implement the three nations’ earlier settlement to extend protection cooperation and enhance their joint response capabilities in opposition to North Korean threats, the air drive mentioned in an announcement.

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The drill concerned a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber from the USA and fighter jets from South Korea and Japan, the assertion mentioned.

South Korea and Japan are each key U.S. allies in Asia, which collectively host about 80,000 American troops.

The three nations have often held trilateral maritime drills, corresponding to anti-submarine or missile protection workout routines, however Sunday’s coaching marked the primary time for them to carry out a trilateral aerial drill.

In South Korea, increasing army drills with Japan is a delicate subject, as a result of many nonetheless harbor robust resentment in opposition to Japan’s brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula. However the North’s advancing nuclear program has pushed South Korea’s conservative president, Yoon Suk Yeol, to maneuver past historic disputes with Japan and beef up a trilateral safety cooperation with the U.S. and Japan.

In August, Yoon, U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met at Camp David of their nations’ first stand-alone trilateral summit and agreed to bolster their protection cooperation to cope with North Korea’s nuclear threats. The three leaders determined to carry annual trilateral workout routines and put into operation by yr’s finish the sharing of real-time missile warning information on North Korea.

Sunday’s drill may draw a livid response from North Korea, which has lengthy bristled at U.S. coaching workout routines with South Korea, calling them an invasion rehearsal and responding with missile exams. The North slammed the Camp David settlement, accusing the U.S., South Korean and Japanese leaders of plotting nuclear battle provocations on the Korean Peninsula. North Korean chief Kim Jong Un referred to as Yoon, Biden and Kishida “the gang bosses” of the three nations.

Worries about North Korea’s nuclear program have deepened after it enacted a legislation that authorizes the preemptive use of nuclear weapons final yr and has since brazenly threatened to make use of them in potential conflicts with the U.S. and South Korea.

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