Tokyo, Japan. As a third US aircraft carrier enters Korean waters, Japan doubles down on its provocations of North Korea by joinging American “naval exercises” in the area. Thle long term “fallout” of which, may be hard to handle.
Japan’s self defense forces, including their navy and air force began a three-day military exercise with two American aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan on Thursday supposedly aimed at adding pressure on North Korea to halt an accelerating ballistic missile program.
Japan’s Navy has sent two ships, including one of its four helicopter carriers, the Hyuga, to join the U.S carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson, and their eight escort ships, Japan’s military said in a release.
Japanese Air Self Defence Force F-15s are taking part in simulated combat with U.S. Navy F-18 fighters at the same time, the military said.”It’s the first time we have exercised with two carriers. It’s a major exercise for us,” a Japanese military spokesman said.
The United States has sent the warships to the region after a surge of tension on the Korean peninsula over fears the North was about to conduct a sixth nuclear test, or another test in its bid to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the mainland United States.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to work with other countries to deter North Korea, which on Monday conducted a short-range ballistic missile test.The missile reached an altitude of 75 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan in international waters.
North Korea has remained defiant in the face of American and Japanese provocations. North Korea already has missiles capable of hitting Japanese targets and easily destroying South Korea many times over. The South Korean President Moon is still having to explain how American forces were able to move more missile systems into his country without permission recently.
Tags: Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK); Japan-US ties; Japan's Defense Ministry; Japan's Self-Defense Forces; North Korea; North Korean missile; North Korean nuclear program; North Korean threat; sea of Japan; US; US-Japanese relations; USA