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South Korea to hold missile-tracking drill with allies

The move comes as the threat from the north's weapons programmes continues to increase

10 December 2017, 9:52am
Intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea (Photo: Business Insider)
Intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea (Photo: Business Insider)
South Korea, Japan and the United States will be holding two days of missile tracking drills as of next Monday, as tensions in the region continue to rise over North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental weapons programmes.

The upcoming drill would be the sixth one carried out among the three nations, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force said. 

Pyongyan has tested several intercontinental ballistic missiles in recent months, despite international condemnation and United Nations sanctions. It’s latest launch on 29 November landed in Japan’s territorial waters.

The test prompted a US warning that North Korea’s leadership would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out.

In addition to its rhetoric, the US has also sought to pressure allies such as China into pressuring North Korea into submission by cutting ties with the secretive nation.

On Sunday, South Korea said it would impose new unilateral sanctions on 20 institutions and a dozen individuals in North Korea, barring any financial transactions between those sanctioned and any South Koreans.

“This unilateral sanction will prevent illegal funds flowing to North Korea and contribute to reinforce international communities’ sanctions against North Korea,” South Korea’s finance ministry said in a statement.

The move is largely symbolic as trade and financial exchanges between the two Koreas have been barred since May 2010 following the torpedoing of a South Korean warship, which the North denied.