SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea wrapped up naval drills Thursday with the US, Australia and Japan aimed at intercepting illicit weapon shipments in a US-led program targeting nations such as North Korea, which is likely to react angrily.
The one-day maneuvers are South Korea's first active participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative, aimed at deterring trade in weapons of mass destruction and missiles by states including North Korea and Iran.
North Korea has long warned it would consider Seoul's participation in the program as a declaration of war against the North. The North usually makes such warnings when Seoul holds joint military drills with the US, which North Korea sees a rehearsal for invasion. Still, the North's state media have so far remained silent on the joint naval drills with the US, Japan and Australia.