Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Korea Start Drills In Show Of Force Against N. Korea

Korea Start Drills In Show Of Force Against N. Korea

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three", US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift was quoted as saying. The U.S. carriers will also participate in separate exercises with three Japanese destroyers on Sunday, according to Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

From the South Korean side, two Aegis-equipped destroyers, one destroyer and four frigates will be mobilized for the joint exercises with the USA carriers, according to Yonhap.

The drill is also in response to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations, the South's military said, and to show any such developments by Pyongyang can be repelled with "overwhelming force".

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

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

"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 USA 7th Fleet announced on Nov. 8. They will successively enter the exercise area in worldwide waters east of the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, and at one point around Monday will operate together.

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It's the first time since 2007 that three USA carrier strike groups are operating together in the Western Pacific. The 7th Fleet said that the previous joint exercises involving three carrier strike groups had taken place off the coast of Guam in 2006 and 2007.

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".

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

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