US, South Korea begin joint naval exercise to warn Kim Jong Un

13 November, 2017, 02:11 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Quotes from US President Donald Trump's Asian tour

Also on Saturday, the US and South Korean navies launched four days of joint drills off the east coast of South Korea.

Nuclear-powered carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt are taking part in the exercises, which will continue until Tuesday in the Sea of Japan, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae said the country has also asked the Chinese side to handle North Korean defectors in China with a humanitarian approach, a request apparently seeking the passage of North Korean defectors to South Korea.

During the meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting, Xi reiterated China's stance on the issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Three carriers will be likely together around Monday, according to a South Korean military source who did not like to be named.

Trump has repeatedly railed against the North as he urges the region to take a united front against the threat posed by the isolated nation, which has sparked global alarm with nuclear and missile tests in recent months.

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

At a summit in Seoul Tuesday, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In agreed to increase the deployment of U.S. military assets around the Korean peninsula to step up pressure on the North. The Aegis technology refers to missile tracking and guidance.

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

According to the U.S. Navy, it is the first three-carrier exercise in the Western Pacific since 2007.

In recent months, North Korea has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland with further development and has conducted its most powerful nuclear test.

"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, Admiral Scott Swift, in the statement.

There has been speculation that Kim would order another missile test to coincide with the USA president's marathon visit to the region which ends on Tuesday.

Trump had also delivered a sharp warning to North Korea in a speech at South Korea's parliament on Wednesday, telling the country: 'Do not underestimate us.

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