South Korean and US authorities began their first joint naval exercise in five years near the Korean Peninsula, a day after North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing military officials, said the four-day exercise in the East Sea involving the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan demonstrates the firm will of the South Korean-American alliance and hone their capabilities. joint operations.

The exercise comes at a time when Seoul and Washington authorities are stepping up security cooperation amid persistent rumors that “Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test or launch a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).”

The navies of the two countries have mobilized more than 20 ships, including the main South Korean aircraft carrier and warships such as the 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Su A Ryu Song-ryong and the 4,400-ton destroyer Great Monmu, as well as military the naval forces of the two countries mobilized more than 20 ships.

The nuclear submarine USS Annapolis also took part in the exercise, enabling the two allies to conduct a rare underwater detection and tracking exercise, an obvious move to counter the threats posed by North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile campaign.

“Through these exercises, we will continue to improve the joint operational capabilities of the naval forces and maintain a stable position of maritime defense based on a strong alliance between South Korea and the United States,” the South Korean official said in a press release.

The exercises include anti-ship and underwater warfare, tactical maneuvers and other maritime warfare.

And the South Korean military announced yesterday that North Korea had fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of ​​Japan, two days after the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrived in South Korea.