US, Japan and South Korea host joint missile tracking drills
10:25, Monday, 11 December, 2017
The US, Japan and South Korea began a two-day missile tracking drill on Monday, South Korea's military has said. The drills were being held in waters off the coast of Japan, according to Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. The exercises are aimed at "practicing tracking an object and sharing information on it among the three countries," according to a defense official. Watch video02:33 'Diplomatic solution' needed for North Korea The exercises were held as tensions with North Korea continued to increase over Pyongyang's rapidly emerging weapons programs. The US and South Korea held large-scale military drills last week that the North said made the outbreak of war "an established fact." North Korea has shown rapid advances in both its development of long range missiles and its nuclear bomb capabilities. The North's advances come amid growing international condemnation and defiance of UN sanctions. Pyongyang launched its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) ever in late November, and claimed it was capable of reaching the mainland United States. The exercises are the sixth since June 2016. Two US ships and one each from Japan and South Korea are involved.