Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

This is the first time the South Korean Navy has conducted a joint drill with three US aircraft carriers, meaning the exercise will exert heavy military pressure on North Korea.

The four-day military exercise will begin off the east coast of South Korea on Saturday.

The exercises come after the United States and South Korea in their recent annual meeting on defensive policy agreed to expand the rotational deployment of strategic American military assets such as aircraft carriers, submarines and bombers to the peninsula.

According to reports, the exercise will involve seven South Korean and 11 USA ships, as well as the USS Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, and Nimitz.

A total of seven South Korean navy vessels, including Aegis-equipped warships, will participate in the drill, the statement said, to accompany 14 USA naval warships.

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 participating forces of the two nations plan to enhance combined operation capability and interoperability through aircraft carrier escort operation, aviation operation and aerial firing", said the JCS.

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

The joint military drills of South Korea and the United States involving three aircraft carrier strike groups begin in the Western Pacific on Saturday.

The U.S. and South Korea kick-off a landmark operation in the Western Pacific.

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

The deployment of the three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the region comes amid a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Asia.

South Korea's military announced its participation on Friday.

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