The exercises take place amid growing tension with China over Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan.
Naval personnel from the United States, Japan and South Korea have been participating in Hawaiian waters since Monday in the Pacific Dragon maneuvers that will test the capacity of defense against ballistic missiles.
According to sources quoted by the South Korean news agency Yonhap, these are biannual maneuvers that begin this Monday and will last until August 14. This year they will also have the participation of Australia and Canada.
Eight ships and two aircraft will be mobilized to improve their coordination for the detection, tracking and notification of ballistic missiles, as agreed by officials of the three parties at the Shangri-La Dialogue meeting held in Singapore on June 11.
These exercises have been carried out more discreetly since 2018 to try to facilitate diplomatic contacts with North Korea, with whom tension is always latent, since in recent years it has made continuous shows of force by testing missiles.
The maneuvers also coincide with the start of Nancy Pelosi’s tour of Asia, with a possible stop in Taiwan. China has warned the White House that a possible visit by the speaker of the US House of Representatives to the island would have serious consequences. In fact, on Saturday Beijing carried out a military exercise in the strait that separates it from Taiwan as a measure of pressure.
On the other hand, the US is carrying out, together with Indonesia, other military maneuvers in the Pacific. At least 4,000 troops from both countries, along with Australian, Singaporean and, for the first time, Japanese forces, are conducting exercises on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Riau Islands.
The exercises will last until August 14 and will include exercises for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Canada, France, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Great Britain participate as observers. According to Washington, the maneuvers seek to promote “regional cooperation” in this context of tensions with China.
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