US Navy says Abraham Lincoln strike group in Japan conducting joint training with Japan

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US Navy says Abraham Lincoln strike group in Japan conducting joint training with Japan

The US Navy's 7th Fleet said Wednesday that the strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is conducting joint training with Japan's Self-Defense Forces in the Sea of Japan.

Routine bilateral operations like this one reassure our allies and partners of the U.S. commitment to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, the 7th Fleet said.

The drill is apparently being conducted with North Korea in mind.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force said that its Inazuma and Kongo destroyers, along with F- 2 fighter jets from the Air Self-Defense Force, participated in the drill on Tuesday.

The 7th Fleet said that our training improves the credibility of conventional deterrence by demonstrating the strength of our bilateral partnerships.

The 7th Fleet said that the training includes practices in air warfare and maritime interdiction operations, but it did not reveal further details, including how long the Abraham Lincoln will remain in the Sea of Japan.

A U.S. aircraft carrier has been deployed to the Sea of Japan for the first time since 2017.

On Friday, North Korea will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and grandfather of Kim Jong Un, the current leader.

Concerns are growing that North Korea may launch more missiles or resume nuclear weapons testing. Pyongyang recently showed signs that it is working to restore its Punggye-Ri nuclear test site, which was demolished in 2018.