Published: Mon, December 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

South Korea, Japan, US start joint missile detection exercises

South Korea, Japan, US start joint missile detection exercises

Many analysts suggest that the rocket is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland but voiced scepticism that Pyongyang has mastered the advanced technology needed to allow the rocket to survive re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere. "We will view the maritime blockade by the United States and their allies as an act of aggression against North Korea's sovereignty and as yet another official declaration of war", the Rodong Sinmun, which is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers' Party, said Sunday. Russian Federation and China have long urged the US and North Korea to accept their proposed "double freeze" plan which would see Pyongyang suspend its nuclear and ballistic missile tests in exchange for a pause in joint US-South Korea drills.

It did not say whether the controversial THAAD system would be involved.

Last month's launch was the first test of any kind since September 15, and quashed hopes that the North may have held back in order to open the door to a negotiated solution to the nuclear standoff.

Both South Korea and Japan have security alliances with the USA, although their own relationship is marred by disputes over history and territory. The Pentagon has mounted repeated shows of force after North Korean tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits Mount Paektu in this

As part of efforts to cut off funding for the North weapons programs, South Korea has added several North Korean groups and individuals to its sanctions list.

U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, F-35B stealth fighter jets and South Korean F-15K fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula during a joint drills, South Korea on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.

The new round of military exercises near N. Korean borders began just days after the US-S.Korean Vigilant Ace drills concluded Friday.

The exercise involves South Korea's Seoae Ryu Seong Ryong Aegis destroyer, the U.S. Aegis destroyers - Stethem and Decatur - and Japan's Chokai Aegis ship.

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