South Korea, Japan, US kick-off anti-submarine drills
Seoul, Apr 3 (EFE).- South Korea, Japan and the United States kicked off naval drills near the Korean peninsula on Monday, including anti-submarine and search and rescue operations involving a US aircraft carrier, to counter “North Korea’s advancing underwater threats.”
The exercises will take place until Tuesday in waters south of Jeju Island, located off the southwestern coast of South Korea.
“(The anti-submarine exercise) was arranged to enhance response capabilities of South Korea, the US and Japan against North Korea’s advancing underwater threats, including from a submarine-launched ballistic missile,” South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement, local news agency Yonhap reported.
In addition to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz, two US destroyers, USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Decatur, three South Koreans destroyers, Yulgok YiYi, Choe Yeong and Daejoyeong and one belonging to Japan, JS Umigiri, are also taking part in the drills.
The exercises come after Pyongyang said last week that it had conducted two tests of an underwater nuclear drone with the capacity to generate nuclear tsunamis to strike fleets and ports.
On Sunday, an editorial in North Korean state-run news agency KCNA condemned the large-scale spring exercises that the allies have been carrying out in the south of the peninsula.
It criticized Seoul and Washington for calling these exercises “routine” and “defensive” and described them as “a deliberate military action prompted by their sinister scheme and option to wreck peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region.”
Seoul, Tokyo and Washington also held similar naval drills in September last year. EFE