Japan Suspends Missile & Evacuation Drills After US-North Korea Summit: Reports

| June 21 , 2018 , 14:31 IST

In the aftermath of the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, Japan is said to have suspended missile drills and evacuation drills which it had been conducting as simulation of a possible missile attack from North Korea, local media said on Thursday.

During the meet between Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12, the two world leaders signed a joint document calling for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, putting an end to the earlier frequent missile and bomb tests conducted by Pyongyang.

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Although government officials have not yet confirmed the reports of the drill suspensions, authorities from one Japanese town quoted by AFP said that they were suspending drills planned for next week based on orders from Tokyo.

City official Yutaka Yanagida told AFP that Yaita in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo had been planning an evacuation drill for next week involving 800 residents including 350 school children but all the preparations were suddenly cancelled on late Wednesday.

The government reportedly instructed that "drills should be postponed for the time being following a change in the environment after the US-North Korea summit," said Yanagida.

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Last year itself, North Korea had fired two missiles over Japan, splashing others into the sea near the country, sparking panic as well as outrage. Earlier this year, an evacuation drill was conducted in Japan's capital of Tokyo for the first time, in preparation for a possible attack by North Korea.

Verbally as well, North Korea has threatened Japan, which is a key US ally in the region, threatening to "sink" the country into the sea and to turn it into "ashes".

The tense atmosphere in the region has witnessed a change since a North Korean delegation participated in Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, setting off a chain of diplomatic meets.