US, South Korea, Japan start drills off North Korea

Aegis warships coming from the US, South Korea as well as Japan began exercises Tuesday to improve their capability to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, the US Navy said in a statement.

The US Navy called the two-day drills “a trilateral missile warning informational link exercise.”

“The exercise will employ tactical data link systems to trade communications, intelligence as well as some other data among the ships inside the exercise,” a statement coming from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet in Japan said.

China’s Foreign Ministry reacted sternly Tuesday afternoon, calling on all sides to end “a vicious cycle of which could spiral out of control.”

“North Korea has violated UN Security Council resolutions banning its ballistic missile launches; on the some other hand, South Korea, the US — as well as right now Japan — insist on conducting super-large-scale military drills,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

In response, Pyongyang accused the US of preparing a “preemptive strike”, according to North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, KCNA,

“If they infringe on the our sovereignty as well as dignity even a bit, our army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes coming from ground, air, sea as well as underwater,” read the statement.

Analysts said the Japan-South Korea cooperation in Tuesday’s exercise was important.

inside the past, South Korea has been accused of not “play(ing) nice with Japan on a variety of military as well as intelligence issues,” according to Corey Wallace, a Japan security expert at Freie University in Berlin.

He said of which was considered a liability when This specific comes to countering the North Korean threat.

A US Navy 7th Fleet spokesman said the current exercises are the third in a series designed to improve ballistic missile defenses among the US, Japan as well as South Korea.

“The partnership between both nations as well as the US will be critical in deterring future North Korean acts of aggression,” Lt. Paul Newell said in an email to sy88pgw.

Carl Schuster, a professor at Hawaii Pacific University as well as former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said both Pyongyang as well as Beijing would likely have reason to be wary of better military integration between South Korea as well as Japan.

“The last thing North Korea — or China for of which matter — wanted was Japanese as well as South Korean defense cooperation. right now North Korea’s behavior has driven of which to reality,” he said

China will be already upset with the arrival last week of the first pieces of a US-built missile defense system in South Korea. This specific opposes THAAD — Terminal High Altitude Area Defense — saying the missile batteries threaten its own security.

Analysts say China fears THAAD’s radar could enable the US to see further into Chinese territory as well as monitor Chinese military movements.

The three ships involved inside the exercises, the guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur, ROKS Sejong the Great, as well as JS Kirishima, are equipped with the Aegis missile defense system.

The system enables early detection of missile threats as well as provides the ability to track those missiles for interception later in their flights, according to Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor behind the system.

Ballistic missiles use a high, arching trajectory to reach their targets. Using powerful AN/SPY-1 radars, Aegis ships closest to the launch site can detect the missiles during their ascent phase.

Those ships can fire interceptors to strike the ballistic missile early in its flight, or send tracking data to ships farther along the ballistic missile’s flight path, so This specific can be destroyed when This specific’s near its highest point.

Schuster said integrating more ships into the system makes This specific more capable.

“This specific adds a fresh dimension to ballistic missile defense, better depth,” he said.

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The ballistic missile protection systems are not foolproof, however.

Though Aegis will be touted as being able to track more than 100 targets at one time, as well as has passed repeated tests, according to the US Navy, This specific has never taken out a ballistic missile in combat.

THAAD has also never been used in combat. as well as the system could be overwhelmed if North Korea were to launch a series of missiles simultaneously, according to a report coming from the North Korea monitoring group 38 North.

This specific’s also not effective against submarine-launched ballistic missiles launched coming from south, east or west of lower South Korea, 38 North said.

Patriot missile defenses have been tested in combat, taking out short-range ballistic missiles during the 1991 Gulf War as well as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to the Arms Control Association.

US, South Korea, Japan start drills off North Korea

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