This handout photo taken on Sept 30, 2022 and provided by the ROK Defence Ministry in Seoul shows warships including the US Navy's nuclear-powered USS Annapolis submarine (right), the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier (second, right), ROK's Munmu the Great destroyer (third, right) and Japan's Asahi-class destroyer (fourth, right) during a trilateral anti-submarine exercise in the international waters off the Korean Peninsula. (HANDOUT / ROK DEFENSE MINISTRY / AFP)
SEOUL - The Republic of Korea and the United States began joint maritime exercises with a US aircraft carrier on Friday, ROK's military said.
The maritime drills will take place in waters off ROK's east coast on Oct 7-8, ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The drills come after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launched a pair of ballistic missiles into the sea on Thursday, and later flew warplanes near the border with the ROK.
On Thursday, the DPRK condemned the United States for repositioning the aircraft carrier near the peninsula, saying it posed a serious threat to the stability of the situation
The US strike group already participated in trilateral missile defense exercises with warships from Japan and ROK this week while the DPRK launched a ballistic missile that overflew part of Japan.
Senior defense officials from Japan, ROK and the United States discussed the latest developments in a call on Friday, condemning the DPRK launches and agreeing that recent trilateral maritime drills have improved their ability to respond to DPRK, ROK's ministry of defense said in a statement.
On Thursday, at least eight DPRK fighter jets and four bombers flew near the border with ROK, prompting the ROK to deploy 30 fighters. The warplanes swarmed each side of the heavily fortified border amid rising tensions over a string of missile tests by Pyongyang.
The DPRK condemned on Thursday the United States for repositioning the aircraft carrier near the peninsula, saying it posed a serious threat to the stability of the situation.
In the statement, the DPRK foreign ministry also criticized Washington for calling a United Nations Security Council meeting over the launches, saying they were a "just countermeasure" to the joint US-ROK drills.
READ MORE: ROK, US, Japan stage anti-submarine drills