Japan, US, ROK kick off missile-tracking exercise near Korean Peninsula



South Korea, the United States and Japan kicked off a two-day maritime exercise to trail ballistic missiles possibly from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in waters near the Korean Peninsula and Japan, local media reported Monday citing Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The trilateral military drill, which would last from Monday to Tuesday, was aimed to detect and track ballistic missiles possibly from the DPRK. The exercise does not involve a stage to destroy the detected missile.

Attending the exercise would be one South Korean Aegis destroyer, two U.S. Aegis-equipped ships and one Japanese Aegis destroyer.

The battleships would conduct a computer simulation to detect and trail ballistic missiles via respective radars, and exchange intelligence with each other.

The joint drill followed the DPRK's test-launch on Nov. 29 of Hwasong-15, which Pyongyang claimed to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can strike the U.S. mainland.

The trilateral missile-tracking drill was the sixth of its kind, after carrying out the three rounds earlier this year and the two rounds last year.