US Expects Second Ballistic Missile Defense Drill With Japan, S. Korea

© AP Photo / US NAVYThis US Navy handout image shows the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), during a joint Missile Defense Agency, US Navy ballistic missile flight test
This US Navy handout image shows the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), during a joint Missile Defense Agency, US Navy ballistic missile flight test - Sputnik International
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The United States, Japan, and South Korea will apply what they learn in the upcoming first joint ballistic missile defense (BMD) drills in the Pacific to a future exercise, US Pacific Command (PACOM) commander Adm. Harry Harris said on Tuesday.

Multiple rocket launchers are seen being fired during a military drill at an unknown location, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
S Korea, US, Japan to Hold Joint Drills to Guard Against N Korean Threat
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) On Monday, the Pentagon announced that the United States would be conducting a joint BMD exercise with its allies Japan and South Korea during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises coming up in June and July.

"It is not this exercise that is the most important, it’s the next one," Harris said of the joint BMD exercise, during a speech at the Spring meeting of the Institute for Corean-American Studies.

The US commander added that "the next one [joint BMD exercise] will hopefully apply what we learn during this exercise to make our ability to operate together in a ballistic missile defense environment better."

Harris noted that the exercise will help each partner country learn more about each other’s missile defense capabilities.

The Pentagon has indicated that the exercise is aimed at deterring the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles.

The joint BMD exercise will be carried out under the framework of the December 2014 trilateral information sharing agreement between the United States, Japan, and South Korea to enhance deterrence against North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction.

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