SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea, the United States and Japan held a trilateral anti-submarine exercise near the peninsula for the first time in five years as part of efforts to sharpen deterrence against North Korean military threats.
The daylong exercise took place in the international waters of the East Sea, following a series of North Korea's short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) launches this week, including two Wednesday and another two Thursday.
The countries last held such trilateral maritime drills in April 2017.
For this year's edition, they mobilized an array of warships, including South Korea's Munmu the Great destroyer; the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and members of its strike group; and Japan's Asahi-class destroyer.
The training focuses on detecting, identifying and tracking North Korean submarines equipped with capabilities to launch submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), according to Seoul's defense ministry.
Seoul, Washington and Tokyo have been reinforcing their security coordination amid concerns that Pyongyang could engage in provocative acts, such as a nuclear experiment or an SLBM.
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