S Korea to join three USA aircraft carriers in drills

S Korea to join three USA aircraft carriers in drills

Kerry Wise
November 12, 2017

The carriers, already operating in the Western Pacific, will sail one by one into the waters east of Korea for the event, it added.

The US Navy said yesterday that the three vessels - the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt - will conduct "coordinated operations in worldwide waters" in the western Pacific between Saturday and Tuesday.

"Although Beijing failed to prevent South Korea's deployment of THAAD altogether via unilateral sanctions and political pressure, the new agreement got Seoul to publicly state it would abide by three "no's": 1) no additional THAAD deployments in South Korea; 2) no participation in a US-led strategic missile defense system; and 3) no creation of a ROK-US-Japan trilateral military alliance", the article said.

It is unusual for Washington to have three of its aircraft carriers in the same place at the same time, and US Pacific Fleet commander Scott Swift said in a statement it was the first such triple-carrier drill in the region since 2007.

The exercises will also involve 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships.

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"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 U.S. carriers will also participate in separate exercises with three Japanese destroyers on Sunday, according to Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

A flurry of missile tests from North Korea this year have raised the likelihood of South Korea using the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system - something China has vehemently opposed.

APEC brings together 21 economies from the Pacific region.

They also agreed to a peaceful resolution to the North Korea problem through dialogue.

After President Donald Trump described his strategy on containing North Korea as "peace through strength", Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North Korean ruling party's mouthpiece, published an article on Friday protesting the drills and vowing to "defend peace until the end". "And do not try us".