Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

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

GETTY    
   WARGAMES South Koreans to host military drills with Trumps top warships GETTY WARGAMES South Koreans to host military drills with Trumps top warships
Lillian Steele | 12 November, 2017, 02:12

This came amid the US President Donald Trump's Asia visit, which was largely focused on about the North Korean nuclear threat.

The joint chiefs of staff of South Korea said in a statement in Seoul that its naval vessels will participate in the drills.

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

In addition to the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy also will mobilize 11 Aegis ships.

"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.

The exercise aims to improve the two countries' ability to carry out cooperated operations through air operations, air artillery strikes and aircraft carrier escorts.

The defense ministry, however, has ruled out the possibility of trilateral military drills with Japan.

"USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) strike groups will commence a three-carrier strike force exercise in the western Pacific, Nov. 11-14", the U.S. 7th Fleet announced on Nov. 8.

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.

Show of force coincides with US President Trump's visit to AsiaThis weekend, three American aircraft carriers will be carrying out joint exercises in the waters around the Korean Peninsula.

Yonhap said the three aircraft carriers will enter the KTO one by one as the strike groups sail with a certain distance from each other.

"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.

South Korea and the United States have repeatedly said THAAD only serves to defend against the growing missile threat from North Korea.

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