F-35B US Forces KoreaInternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – South Korea, the United States and Japan have carried out missile defense exercises in the East Sea international waters in an effort to strengthen deterrence against North Korean nuclear and missile threats, South Korean media said on Monday, citing the country’s navy. Each participating country sent a destroyer equipped with Aegis system to the drills focused on detecting and tracking a computer-simulated ballistic missile target and sharing related information, the local news agency said. “This was an opportunity to strengthen security cooperation among the South, the U.S. and Japan against the North’s advancing nuclear and missile threats, and firm up our Navy’s capabilities to respond to ballistic missile launches,” a South Korean navy official was quoted as saying in the report. AsiaS.Korean Ruling Party Head Calls For Development of National Nuclear Arms20 February, 10:22 GMTEarlier in the day, South Korea and the US also conducted large-scale air drills involving over 100 aircraft, media added. On Saturday, South Korean, US and Japanese security officials stated in a joint statement that they had discussed the regularization of joint military drills in order to deter and respond to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile threats. The statement has been made after the North Korean state-run news agency reported that the new-type Hwansong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile was tested under supervision of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The missile was launched toward the Sea of Japan, flying about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and landing outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone last Thursday. The launch prompted the Japanese authorities to issue an evacuation order for the residents of the northernmost island of Hokkaido, which reportedly led to the temporary suspension of high-speed trains and road transport in the north of the country. MultimediaNorth Korea Tests First Ever Solid-Fuel Hwasong-18 ICBM14 April, 16:33 GMTThe latest launch came amid a halt in cross-border communication between the two Koreas since on April 7. It was the ninth launch of a North Korean missile this year. In 2022, Pyongyang launched 37 ballistic missiles.