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S Korea, US, Japan to hold joint drills near Hawaii: Reports

The biennial Pacific Dragon exercise this year will involve eight warships and two aircraft. The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen interoperability in detecting and tracking enemy ballistic missiles.

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Seoul: South Korea, the United States and Japan will hold a joint military exercise for air defense off the coast of Hawaii from August 1 to 14, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The biennial Pacific Dragon exercise this year will involve eight warships and two aircraft. The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen interoperability in detecting and tracking enemy ballistic missiles.

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Australia and Canada will join the main participants this year, according to Yonhap.

US, South Korean and Japanese military chiefs organized the exercise during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore on June 11. The countries agreed to conduct missile defense exercises against the backdrop of North Korea’s intensified launches of ballistic missiles and other projectiles, as well as reports of a possible nuclear test by Pyongyang.

Since 2018, the exercises have been held in an abridged format as a way to demonstrate commitment to prioritizing diplomacy.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that the joint US-South Korea military exercises in the future could bring the Korean Peninsula back to the state of war.

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