South Korea, U.S. and Japan to hold first-ever joint air force drill near peninsula Sunday

near the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, South Korean and U.S. military officials said.

According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, aircraft from the three countries’ air forces will practice flying in formation to escort a U.S. B-52 long-range strategic bomber currently deployed to South Korea.

The bomber staged a rare commemorative flight over Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, during Tuesday’s opening ceremony of the Seoul Aerospace & Defense Exhibition.

The B-52 landed at an air base in Cheongju, marking the first time the bomber landed in South Korea.

B-52 bombers have previously been deployed over the Korean Peninsula for joint drills with Seoul but usually returned afterward to their base in Guam.

Sunday’s joint air force exercise by South Korea, the United States and Japan marks deepening defense cooperation between the three countries and follows several trilateral antimissile exercises by their naval forces since President Yoon Suk Yeol took office in May last year.

The three countries conducted a joint maritime interdiction exercise on the high seas off Jeju Island for the first time in seven years earlier this month.

Yoon agreed with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to heighten cooperation in defense and technology at their trilateral summit held at Camp David in August amid escalating military threats from North Korea.

In turn, Pyongyang and Moscow signaled they would ramp up military cooperation during North Korean leader Kim토스카지노 도메인 Jong-un’s rare trip abroad to the Russian Far East last month to meet with President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Their meeting at the spaceport and Kim’s subsequent tour of two Russian aircraft factories heightened speculation that Russia could provide the North with advanced military and satellite reconnaissance technology in return for much-needed materiel and ammunition to continue its war in Ukraine.

During his follow-up trip to Pyongyang last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called joint military maneuvers by South Korea, the United States and Japan a cause for concern, according to Russia’s state-run RIA news agency.

North Korea has announced plans for a third attempt to launch a military spy satellite into space in October. The North’s previous attempts in May and August failed.

South Korean naval officials also disclosed Sunday that the navies of South Korea and the United States concluded a two-week anti-submarine exercise near Guam the same day.

The biennial exercise, known as Silent Shark, began on Oct. 6 and ended Sunday.

The exercise is designed to bolster the allies’ anti-submarine tactics against North Korean threats, according to the South Korean Navy.

South Korea dispatched the ROKS Jeong Ji, a 1,800-ton Son Won Il-class submarine, and two P-3C patrol aircraft to participate in the exercise, which included joint search, tracking and attack drills.

Early last month, North Korea said it launched a new tactical submarine capable of carrying out an underwater nuclear attack.

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