Korea to train with three U.S. aircraft carriers

Korea to train with three U.S. aircraft carriers

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. Eleven Aegis destroyers of the U.S. Navy are also taking part.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the four-day strike force exercise is "aimed at enhancing deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats".

The drills are scheduled to take place from November 11-14 in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan in an ongoing naming dispute between South Korea and Japan.

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

The joint military drills of South Korea and the United States involving three aircraft carrier strike groups begin in the Western Pacific on Saturday. 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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"The U.S. efforts to expand its military influence in Asia-Pacific and the movement of big neighboring powers to contain it escalate the military tension and increase arms race in the region with each passing day", it said.

The goal of the exercise was to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to "operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force efforts", the navy said, adding that the three carrier strike groups will conduct training including "air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishment at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuver".

Yonhap said the three aircraft carriers will enter the KTO one by one as the strike groups sail with a certain distance from each other.

The deployment of the three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the region comes amid a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Asia. It also flew two new midrange missiles over Japan and threatened to launch them toward Guam, a U.S. Pacific territory and military hub.

South Korea's military announced its participation on Friday.

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