5th and 8th Air Wing of Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s F-15 and F-2 fighters hold a joint military drill with US Marine Aircraft Group 12’s F-35B fighters off Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, Japan, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defence Ministry of Japan October 4, 2022. — Reuters pic
TOKYO, Oct 8 — Japan and the United States are conducting a joint military drill involving US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in areas around Japan in light of North Korea’s continued missile launches, Japan’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday in the direction of Japan. The missile launch was the sixth in 12 days and the first since Pyongyang fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan on Tuesday.
“Amid an increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, including North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches, Japan Self-Defence Forces and US Armed Forces have been conducting a bilateral exercise,” the ministry said in a statement.
The joint drill, in which a Japanese destroyer is participating, has been underway since October 1, the statement said. It did not say when it is scheduled to end.
The United States and South Korea carried out joint exercises this week.
North Korea’s defence ministry was “taking a stern look at the development of the current situation, which is very worrisome,” regarding the US-South Korean drills, North Korea’s state media KCNA said in a statement on Saturday. — Reuters