TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan is considering holding a joint drill in the East China Sea with U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson which is heading to waters off the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea, government sources said Wednesday.
The joint exercise that would likely involve Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers is aimed at warning North Korea off any further ballistic missile and nuclear tests.
It is predicted Pyongyang may mark with tests anniversaries such as the 105th birthday of late state founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday, and the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army on April 25.
MSDF destroyers and the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson conducted bilateral exercises in the East China Sea between March 7 and 10 as well as between March 27 and 29, but the Japanese and U.S. governments are considering another soon, the Japanese sources said.
At the direction of the U.S. Pacific Command, the Carl Vinson Strike Group headed north after departing Singapore last Saturday, changing its initial plan to make port visits in Australia.
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