Korea says it will join U.S. aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

12 November, 2017, 02:14 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Three US supercarriers to conduct joint drills in waters off Korean peninsula

The South Korean Navy has started a joint naval exercise with the USA involving three US nuclear-powered aircraft carriers to deliver a strong warning to North Korea.

Instead, the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) will be "deployed rotationally and sequentially" to carry out joint exercises with warships from the ROKN.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday the drill involving three aircraft carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific would be carried out for the first time in a decade, confirming a Reuters report.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency described the exercises as an "unprecedented show of force" off the peninsula.

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The four-day drills that began in waters off South Korea's eastern coast come as President Donald Trump continues a visit to Asia that has been dominated by discussions over the North Korean nuclear threat.

Trump's rhetoric combined with repeated weapons tests by North Korea have increased tensions to some of the highest levels seen since the Korean War of 1950-1953.

In recent months, North Korea has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the USA mainland with further development and has conducted its most powerful nuclear test.

"The training is aimed at restraining North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations and showing our military's strong willingness to act and military preparedness", the JCS said, quoted in the local press.

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The U.S. Navy's previous training operation involving three carriers was in the vicinity of Guam in the Western Pacific in 2007 during the Valiant Shield exercise. They will successively enter the exercise area in worldwide waters east of the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, and at one point around Monday will operate together.

The countries will practice air operations, air artillery strikes and aircraft carrier escorts, Reuters reported.

APEC brings together 21 economies from the Pacific region.

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