US, Japan launch 10-day naval exercise amid N. Korea tension

Japan and the US launched a joint naval drill Thursday in a show of force aimed at North Korea. The 10-day exercise, joined by some 14,000 US servicemen, aircraft carrier USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ and the guided-missile destroyers USS ‘Stethem,’ USS ‘Chafee’ and USS ‘Mustin,’ “will take place in waters surrounding Okinawa” in southern Japan, the US Navy said. The annual drill “is designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations,” AFP reported, citing the statement.