S Korea participates in Japan's fleet review 1st time in 7 years

The South Korean Navy took part in Japan's fleet review in 2002 and 2015, while the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force joined the South's fleet review in 1998 and 2008.
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TOKYO: Amid escalating nuclear and missile threats from North Korea, a South Korean naval vessel is set to take part in Japan's international fleet review on Sunday for the first time in seven years.

It marks the first time since 2015 for the South's Navy to participate in a fleet review in Japan, reported Yonhap news agency.

The South Korean Navy took part in Japan's fleet review in 2002 and 2015, while the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) joined the South's fleet review in 1998 and 2008.

The review comes against North Korea launching a ballistic missile of intercontinental range in the East sea.

Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Pyongyang had fired an unknown ballistic missile on the Sea of Japan. Media reports had said that the missile is believed to be an intermediate- or long-range missile.

During large-scale joint air drills between the US and South Korea, Seoul scrambled approximately 80 fighter jets after detecting North Korean warplanes on Friday.

South Korea's military earlier said an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at around 7:40 am on Thursday. This latest launch marked the country's seventh firing of an ICBM in 2022.

However, South Korea's defence source told Yonhap that Thursday's missile seems to have failed in a routine flight.

Over 10 years in power, the North Korean leader has conducted more than 100 missile launches, including intercontinental launches, and four nuclear tests. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said numerous times that his country will continue to boost its nuclear potential.

South Korea is one of 14 countries, including host Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia, to take part in the review set to take place in Sagami Bay off Kanagawa Prefecture, about 40 kilometres southeast of Tokyo.

South Korea's 10,000-ton logistics support ship Soyang entered the port of Yokosuka on Tuesday, reported Yonhap.

Following the review, the Navy ship Soyang plans to join a multinational search and rescue exercise. The exercise will bring together service members from the United States, Britain, France, Australia, Canada and other countries.

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