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The US, South Korea and Japan hold drills in the face of threats from North Korea

The US, South Korea and Japan hold drills in the face of threats from North

The United States, South Korea and Japan have held joint naval exercises involving a US aircraft carrier to ensure readiness against nuclear and missile threats from North Korea, Seoul's navy said on Friday.

North Korea has accelerated its weapons development, and last week tested a solid-fuel hypersonic missile. On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said now is the right time to be more prepared for war than ever before, citing the volatile geopolitical situation.

"Participating forces conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises to improve response to underwater threats from North Korea, including from submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles," the South Korean navy said in a statement.

The two-day exercises, held in international waters between South Korea and Japan on Thursday and Friday, brought together the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and the destroyers Howard, Russell and Daniel Inouye, with warships from the Asian neighbors.

The drills, which were aimed at developing joint capabilities to respond to threats from North Korea, follow a multi-year joint plan that was drawn up at a summit between the sides last year, South Korea said.

The three countries also practiced how to block illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction from North Korea, as well as conducted search and rescue drills.

Meanwhile, in Washington, US and South Korean officials held annual defense talks on Thursday, according to Seoul.

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