South Korea, the United States and Japan carried out their first joint aerial drills on Sunday, Tokyo, Seoul and Washington have announced.

The exercise, which involved a U.S. nuclear-weapons-capable B-52 bomber, comes as the three countries beef up their defense cooperation against growing missile and nuclear threats from North Korea.

The U.S. bomber landed at a South Korean airbase on Oct. 17 after a flyover at the country's largest defense exhibition. B-52s, which fly at subsonic speeds, can travel more than 14,000 kilometers (8,800 miles) without refueling, at an altitude reaching 50,000 feet.