Three US carriers lead naval drill aimed at N. Korea

Kristopher Drake
November 12, 2017

The U.S. 7th Fleet which is part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said on its website Thursday that the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt will commence a three-carrier exercise in worldwide waters in the Western Pacific for four days from Saturday.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier arrives in the South Korean port city of Busan on October 21, 2017.

South Korea and the United States on Saturday kicked off a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan involving three USA aircraft carriers amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

It is the first such triple-carrier drill in the region for a decade.

The drill is also in response to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations, the South's military said, and to show any such developments by Pyongyang can be repelled with "overwhelming force".

The exercise will involve training in maneuvers, antiaircraft defense, maritime surveillance, maritime replenishment of supplies and landing and takeoff on the carriers.

The resolution reaffirms the importance of the South Korea-U.S. alliance as a "linchpin for security, stability, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond".

South Korea's Yonhap news agency described the exercises as an "unprecedented show of force" off the peninsula. The North says it needs nuclear weapons as a deterrent to prevent "invasion and plunder" by the US.

Currently, he is in Vietnam where he took part in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

During talks in Beijing Thursday, Trump urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to work hard and act fast to help resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, warning that "time is quickly running out".

The drills began in waters off South Korea's eastern coast.

It is feared the thawing tensions between South Korea and China could outrage tyrannical North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who may launch a deadly nuclear strike at any time.

But experts doubt China will take the kind of steps that Trump wants, such as halting crude oil exports to the North.

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