The Japanese Navy is to conduct a joint military exercise soon with a U.S. aircraft carrier amid growing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear missile programme, Japan’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
The drill will involve the Japanese Navy’s destroyers and the nuclear-powered Carl Vinson, Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.
The move comes after the U.S. deployed a group of U.S. warships, including the Carl Vinson, towards the Korean Peninsula.
On April 5, North Korea launched a missile into the East Sea from near Sinpo in South Hamgyong province, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country test-fired four ballistic missiles.
North Korea has also recently ramped up its nuclear programme under its relatively new leader Kim Jong Un, carrying out two nuclear tests and launching around 20 ballistic missiles in 2016 alone.
The international community also is concerned that North Korea could be working on an intercontinental ballistic missile, which could reach the western U.S., as well as other countries closer to North Korea.
“North Korea is looking for trouble,’’ U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, If China decides to help, that would be great If not, we will solve the problem without them!’’
The Japanese Navy has already carried out a drill in the East China Sea with the Carl Vinson in late March, but the date of the new manoeuvres are not yet known.