Were North Korea’s Missile Tests Provoked by US Naval Exercise?

January 20th, 2022 - by EAW & Rohit Ranjan / Republic World

Were North Korea’s Missile Tests
Provoked by US Naval Exercises?


 (January 18, 2022) — Was North Korea’s recent test of its short-range missiles a reaction to the US-led multinational war drill called “Sea Dragon 22”? The US Navy 7th Fleet issued a statement announcing that the multinational exercise of Sea Dragon 22 with six Indo-Pacific nations, which began on January 5.

Note: the “Tridents” mentioned in the article below refer to Trident submarines — which are designed to carry nuclear weapons. Specifically: Ohio-class submarine of the US Navy, armed with Trident Ballistic Missiles (SSBN) or Cruise Missiles (SSGN) and Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy, armed with Trident Ballistic Missiles.

Sea Dragon 2022 Exercise
Commences With Six Indo-Pacific Nations

Rohit Ranjan / Republic World

MUMBAI, India (January 6, 2022) — The US Navy Seventh Fleet issued a statement announcing that the multinational exercise Sea Dragon 22 with six Indo-Pacific nations began on January 5. The six nations that are participating in the exercise are the United States, Australia, Canada, India Japan and South Korea.

In the statement, the US Navy also announced that two US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from the maritime patrol squadron Golden Swordsmen and the Tridents will join the exercise.

The Golden Swordsmen of VP-47, which is part of Commander Task Force (CTF) 72, are currently stationed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori, Japan.

On the other hand, the VP-26 Tridents, which is also part of Commander Task Force (CTF) 72, which is are based in Jacksonville, Florida, and are currently deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. They will undertake maritime patrol, reconnaissance, and theatre outreach missions inside the Seventh Fleet area of operations throughout the deployment, according to the statement.

Sea Dragon 22 Focuses on ASW Training

Sea Dragon 22 focuses on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training and excellence, which includes everything from tracking simulated targets to tracking a genuine US Navy submarine. Pilots and flight officers from all around the world develop strategies and discuss tactics in training sessions that take into account their individual countries’ skills and equipment.

Lt. Cmdr. Braz Kennedy stated in the statement that as he is the officer-in-charge (OIC) of Sea Dragon 2022, he is excited for the opportunity to further deepen the connections with Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and Korea. He further said that the exercise’s continuing expansion and complexity provides an opportunity to train ASW tactics, techniques and procedures with allies and partners that they don’t frequently get the chance to work with.

Each event will be judged, and the nation with the greatest overall point total will be awarded the coveted Dragon Belt. Last year’s champion was the Royal Canadian Air Force, who will defend their title at Sea Dragon 2022.

Land Training to Actual Submarine Training

Commander of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force JMSDF stated that this is a yearly multi-national high-end ASW training exercise. He further said that by doing a variety of training, ranging from land training to actual submarine training, they will be able to strengthen their tactical skills, according to the statement. 

He also stated that they also intend to increase collaboration and deepen mutual understanding among the participating navies and air forces through training.

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