South Korea, the United States and Japan began a two-day naval exercise in international waters south of South Korea, officials said on Monday.
The anti-submarine and search-and-rescue exercise will be staged from Monday to Tuesday in international waters south of the South Korean southern island of Jeju, according to South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense.
South Korea mobilized three destroyers and one combat support ship, the United States engaged the USS Nimitz nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, along with USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Decatur destroyers, and Japan sent JS Umigiri destroyer.
It marks the first trilateral anti-submarine exercise in six months since September 2022, the South Korean ministry said.
The trilateral search-and-rescue exercise will be held in seven years since 2016 to practice procedures such as rapid rescue, and emergency patient treatment and transportation in the event of a marine accident, the ministry added.
The Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, issued a commentary on Sunday, lashing out at the Freedom Shield and other U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises since mid-March, as well as the U.S.-Japan-South Korea trilateral naval drill.