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Japanese fighters, U.S. bombers conduct drill off Korean Peninsula

Japanese fighter jets and U.S. bombers conducted a joint drill
off the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, Japanese Defense Minister Fumio
Kishida said.

The drill involving two F-2 fighters and two B-1 bombers follows
North Korea's test-firing late Friday of a second intercontinental
ballistic missile.

"Under the current security situations including the launch
Friday of the (North Korean ballistic) missile, the drill
demonstrated our country's determination and capabilities for
regional stability and strengthened Japan-U.S. alliance's deterrence
and response capabilities," Kishida told reporters.

Kishida doubles as defense and foreign minister after Tomomi
Inada stepped down as the defense chief Friday.

The U.S. bombers subsequently conducted a drill with the Korean
air force, according to Japanese Air Self-Defense Force officials.

North Korea's missile was launched shortly before midnight
Friday and flew for about 45 minutes before landing about 150
kilometers away from a small island off the coast of Japan's
northernmost main island of Hokkaido. It followed the first
test-firing of an ICBM on July 4.

Defense experts suggest the North Korean ICBMs, both launched on
a lofted trajectory, could have a capability to hit major cities on
the U.S. mainland if launched at a normal angle. (July 30)



Japanese fighter jets and U.S. bombers conducted a joint drill off the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's test-firing of a second intercontinental ballistic missile.