posted on Oct, 26 2004 @ 05:22 AM
Calling it a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) drill, ships from Japan, the United States, Australia and France are currently conducting
operations in the waters outside to Tokyo, Japan. This is the twelfth exercise of this type that the U.S. has held, but it is the first so close to
North Korea. The placement and timing of the exercise is no doubt meant to send a message to the North Korea.
ABOARD JAPAN COAST GUARD VESSEL IZU (Reuters) - Ships from Japan, the United States, Australia and France steamed out to sea under cloudy skies on
Tuesday for Asia's first naval exercise to clamp down on weapons of mass destruction, a drill that communist North Korea has called hostile and
The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) drill in waters off Tokyo is the 12th of its kind in the U.S.-led initiative but the first to be held in
the backyard of North Korea, a clear focus of the exercise.
It also coincides with a visit to the region by Secretary of State Colin Powell to try to resuscitate six-party negotiations on scrapping North
Korea's nuclear arms programs.
Pyongyang has repeatedly criticized the U.S.-led initiative as an attempt by Washington to strangle it economically.
But Washington's main anti-proliferation point-man, John Bolton, dismissed Pyongyang's complaints.
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The North Korean government has criticized the exercise and an attempt to strangle it economically. However, John Bolton, , U.S. undersecretary of
state for arms control, said "The only people who have anything to worry about from PSI are proliferators". The exercise involving 9 ships will
simulate a special forces assault on two ships believed to be carrying weapons of mass destruction. Eighteen other countries including Britain,
Canada, Italy, Spain and Russia, are in attendance as observers.