News ID: 204071
Published: 0228 GMT November 10, 2017

S. Korea to join three US aircraft carriers in drills

S. Korea to join three US aircraft carriers in drills

South Korean warships will take part in upcoming joint drills involving three US aircraft carriers, a Seoul military official said on Friday.

The US Navy said Thursday that the three vessels – the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt – will conduct “coordinated operations in international waters” in the western Pacific between Saturday and Tuesday, AFP reported.

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 that it was the first such triple-carrier drill in the region since 2007.

Seven South Korean navy vessels – three destroyers and four escort ships – will take part in the exercises, the South Korean official said.

North Korea regularly denounces such military drills as rehearsals for invasion and sometimes conducts its own military maneuvers or missile tests in response.

The US warships will carry out air defense drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training and other training operations, the US Navy said.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump warned North Korea not to “try” the United States, but appeared to moderate his bellicose tone somewhat, offering Pyongyang’s young leader Kim Jong-un a “path to a better future.”

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