The United States, Japan, Australia and France have held a naval exercise off Japan's coast Tuesday as part of efforts to intercept weapons of mass destruction at sea.
The exercise, part of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, saw forces practicing how to spot and seize suspicious vessels.
Eleven similar drills have been held since last year, but today's effort was the first in Asian waters.
The United States says the drills send a message that the world does not tolerate anyone who tries to traffic weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea, which has long been accused of exporting missiles, criticized the drill, calling it part of a U.S. strategy to blockade and stifle Pyongyang.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.