Russian official: US exercise with S. Korea, Japan will only ‘heighten hysteria’

Russian official: US exercise with S. Korea, Japan will only ‘heighten hysteria’
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Russia’s military chief warned Monday that a missile-tracking exercise involving the United States, Japan and South Korea will only serve to raise tensions in the region following a North Korean missile launch, Reuters reported.

“Carrying out military training in regions surrounding North Korea will only heighten hysteria and make the situation unstable,” said Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces.

China has also called on the United States and South Korea to stop the drills, saying continuing the military exercises would not be in anyone’s best interests, Reuters reported.

The joint exercises, which will begin Monday, will be the sixth time the three nations have shared missile-tracking information.


North Korea launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile late last month, ending a two-month hiatus for missile launches from the country. The missile landed in the Sea of Japan.

The missile is said to have traveled nearly 2,800 miles high and for a distance of more than 600 miles. North Korea claimed the missile, called a Hwasong-15, is capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland.

The U.S. and South Korea last week conducted a joint aerial drill involving roughly 12,000 U.S. personnel from the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, along with 230 aircraft.

North Korea responded to that initiative, saying it is a sign the U.S. is “begging” for war.