Seoul, Tokyo, Washington to carry out 1st joint air drills: source

Seoul, Oct 18 (EFE).- South Korea, Japan and the United States plan to carry out their first joint military air exercises on Sunday, according to Yonhap news agency citing an unnamed source close to the matter.

The maneuvers will take place around the Korean Peninsula and will include the participation of the American B-52 strategic bomber that landed Tuesday in South Korea, Yonhap reported Wednesday.

Although this nuclear-capable bomber had previously participated in joint air exercises over the peninsula, it is the first time it has touched down in South Korea.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of National Defense consulted by various media outlets said that the three countries are expanding their trilateral maneuvers based on what was agreed this summer by Seoul, Tokyo and Washington at the Camp David summit, although he noted that the date, location and details of the drills cannot be confirmed at this time.

South Korean and US presidents Yoon Suk-yeol and Joe Biden, and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, agreed at Camp David to strengthen three-way military cooperation to deter North Korea from continuing with the development of weapons of mass destruction.

The three parties, also supported by the recent rapprochement between South Korea and Japan, have carried out several joint military drills this year.

Last week, they carried out a maritime exercise designed to detect North Korean ships carrying out the transfers of goods on the high seas through which Pyongyang receives everything from fuel to luxury products or technology that it can use in its nuclear weapons programs and that violate United Nations resolutions.

General Kim Seung-kyum, who heads the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week in a parliamentary appearance in Seoul that the three countries planned to carry out their first joint air exercises soon. EFE


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