Friday, October 4, 2013

US, Japan and S. Korea to hold joint naval drills

US, Japan and S. Korea to hold joint naval drills: The United States, South Korea and Japan will hold joint naval exercises next week in waters around the Korean peninsula, a US defence official said Thursday, as fears grow over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
The announcement comes as US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry were in Tokyo to meet their Japanese counterparts following talks with South Korean officials this week.
The US defence official gave few details about the three-nation drills, calling them "increasingly common" and "designed to strengthen coordination and improve readiness to respond to situations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief".
"Next week, in waters around the Korean peninsula, the USS George Washington Strike Group will conduct a trilateral maritime exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force," he said.
The announcement was made a day after the United States and South Korea said they had mapped out a new strategy to counter the growing threat of a North Korean nuclear or chemical weapons attack.