US, South Korea joint military drills begin in Western Pacific

3 US aircraft carriers to enter waters off Korean Peninsula to stage joint drills: S.Korean military

YOKOSUKA - The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), 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 U.S. has sent a number of its so-called strategic assets to the area - including carriers, heavy bombers and high-tech submarines - as part of a concerted push to heap pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile programs.

The KTO is a theater for military operations near the Korean Peninsula, which is designated by the commander of combined forces of South Korea and the United States.

In this image released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, flanked by South Korean destroyers, from left, Yang Manchun and Sejong the Great, and the U.S. Navy's Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy, transit the western Pacific Ocean Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet has a determined and steady presence throughout the region, conducting operations for more than 70 years now.

During the drill, the first of its kind in a decade, the warships will carry out air strike and defense simulations, maritime surveillance, sea supply, coordinated fenced maneuvers and other training, added the Navy.

"Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet's unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region".

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.

Trump though tried to avoid his earlier threats to North Korea, was clear in his vows to counter aggravations with military force, according to the CNN.

North Korea's foreign ministry issued a statement via the official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday describing Trump's trip as "a warmonger's visit for confrontation".

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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