US, South Korea Begin Joint Naval Exercises In The Western Pacific

12 November, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Three US aircraft carriers to conduct drills in Asia amid North Korean crisis

This massive show of military force is taking place during the US President's 12-day Asia tour amid heightened tensions with North Korea.

Carrier commanders say the strike groups are kept combat ready at all times, with jet fighters and surveillance planes flying constantly from their flight decks to maintain a protective screen.

The carriers involved are the USS Ronald Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego, USA, and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, on a trip late last month to South Korea, was at pains to stress that diplomacy was America's preferred course to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

It is the first time that three aircraft carriers are conducting drills together in the western Pacific since the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007 off the coast of the island of Guam.

The Navy noted that for more than 70 years, the U.S. Pacific Fleet has been a persistent and stabilizing presence conducting operations throughout the region.

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The drill will include the USS Nimitz, the Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and their accompanying warships, the first time three USA aircraft carrier strike groups have exercised together in the region in a decade.

The exercise will involve three of the Navy's 11 carriers, and concentrate more aircraft carriers the combined fleets of China and Russian Federation.

The three aircraft carriers are expected to link up in the Sea of Japan later this week off the Korean Peninsula, a US defense official tells Fox News.

"Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday, in a statement published by the KCNA news agency.

South Korea's military announced its participation on Friday.

"The U.S. efforts to expand its military influence in Asia-Pacific and the movement of big neighboring powers to contain it escalate the military tension and increase arms race in the region with each passing day", it said.

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