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Getting Testy

U.S. holds air exercises with Asian nations following North Korean missile test

The United States held a series of joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan on Sunday. The drills come just one day after North Korea fired an ICBM off the Korean Peninsula during a test launch

The exercise involved F-35A stealth fighters and F-15K jets from South Korea, together with F-16 American fighters, escorting a U.S. strategic bomber. 

"The training this time demonstrated the South Korea-U.S. combined defense capabilities and posture featuring the alliance's overwhelming forces," the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement to the Yonhap News Agencyadding that the countries showed off "the timely and immediate deployment of the U.S.' extended deterrence assets to the Korean Peninsula."

In a separate exercise, Japan flew F-15s over the Sea of Japan along with American B-1 bombers and F-16 fighters. In a statement obtained by Reutersthe Japanese Defense Ministry said the drill "reaffirms the strong will between Japan and the United States to respond to any situation...and further strengthens the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance."

The exercises followed the confirmed launch of an ICBM by North Korea on Saturday. The missile was fired from the nation's capital of Pyongyang and landed in Japanese waters. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile was believed to have a range of around 8,700 miles, per The Washington Postmeaning "the entire United States would be within its range."

North Korean officials had also threatened the United States with further action if the joint exercises were conducted. 

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said via the state-run Korean Central News Agency that the United States "is deceiving the world" and should "think carefully for your prospective safety."