Top Asian News 5:24 a.m. GMT

As North Korean and Chinese threats rise, US looks to lock in defense partnerships with Asian allies

GIMHAE AIR BASE, South Korea (AP) — The United States wrapped up its first multidomain exercise with Japan and South Korea in the East China Sea on Saturday, a step forward in Washington's efforts to strengthen and lock in its security partnerships with key Asian allies in the face of growing threats from North Korea and China. The three-day Freedom Edge increased the sophistication of previous exercises with simultaneous air and naval drills geared toward improving joint ballistic-missile defense, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and other skills and capabilities. The exercise, which is expected to expand in years to come, was also intended to improve the countries' abilities to share missile warnings — increasingly important as North Korea tests ever-more sophisticated systems.