S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold trilateral drills involving aircraft carrier

South Korea, the United States and Japan have held naval drills involving a U.S. aircraft carrier to improve their joint operability against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, the South's Navy said. The trilateral naval drill took place in international waters south of Jeju Island on Thursday and Friday, involving six warships of the nations. The U.S. Navy sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and three Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, which were joined by two Aegis destroyers from South Korea and Japan. "The exercise was focused on bolstering the three nations' joint response capabilities amid North Korea's rising nuclear and missiles," the Navy said in a release. It is the latest in a series of joint drills held after Washington and its Asian allies agreed to regularize trilateral exercises to deter rising security threats during their Camp David summit in August 2023. The participating forces conducted anti-submarine warfare training to enhanc e their capabilities to counter threats posed by North Korea's submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the Navy said. They also carried out maritime interdiction exercises to prevent the illicit transportation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and search and rescue training to practice procedures for rescuing distressed vessels. "This training provided a great opportunity to enhance the capabilities of the three participating countries to respond to North Korea's evolving nuclear and WMD threats and to improve humanitarian assistance capabilities for distressed vessels," Capt. Baek Jun-cheol of the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong destroyer said. Rear Adm. Christopher Alexander, commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said the trilateral drill provided an opportunity to work together to better prepare for any crisis or contingency in the region. "This is an opportunity for us to work with our allies in the region. It is an opportunity for us to improve our tactical proficiency," Alexander told a gr oup of reporters from South Korea, the U.S. and Japan. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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