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

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

Three U.S. aircraft carriers will soon conduct a rare combined exercise in the Western Pacific, the U.S. military announced Thursday, as President Donald Trump is traveling to Asia.

The San Diego-based carrier Theodore Roosevelt is joining two other flattops for a major exercise in the western Pacific that begins Saturday.

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three", said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift, said in a Wednesday statement.

"A touch-and-go situation is prevailing in the peninsula due to the USA and south Korean puppet forces' military provocations", the official Rodong Sinmun wrote. Ronald Reagan participated in VS 2006 while Nimitz took part in VS 2007. More recently, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific including in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea.

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

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While at sea, the strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishment at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers and other training. It is committed to maintain the security commitments for the next 70 years, the report added.

Pyongyang detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb in September after months of ballistic missile tests that riled Washington and its allies Japan and South Korea.

The South Korean military will join a rare U.S. Navy exercise off the coast of the Korean Peninsula this weekend.

"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.

Trump on Tuesday reiterated his goal to achieve what he called "peace through strength", warning the US could use "the full range of our unmatched military capabilities" against Pyongyang.

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