Last month, naval exercises were conducted in the same waters with the USS Carl Vinson and South Korean and Japanese aircraft taking part.Washington described Thursday's drill as 'routine training'.'The Ronald Reagan and Carl Vinson Strike Groups were joined by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF) for routine training to improve interoperability and readiness in the Indo-Asia Pacific,' the US Seventh Fleet said on its Facebook page.
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Pyongyang has now conducted a dozen ballistic missile tests this year, in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and amid fears that it may be preparing for another nuclear test.
The US-Japan drill on Thursday comes shortly after the Pentagon tested an interceptor system to strike down a dummy ballistic missile.
Japanese military officials declined to comment on the drill.
The United States has led the efforts to bring further sanctions to punish the North and is urging China, Pyongyang's main sponsor, to play a greater role in applying pressure on the unpredictable regime of Kim Jong-un.
They try miserably to add slapstick comedy to this otherwise endearing film.