Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Korea says it will join U.S. aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

Korea says it will join U.S. aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

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 three flattops are the USS Ronald Reagan, Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt.

It is the first such triple-carrier drill in the region for a decade.

"Although Beijing failed to prevent South Korea's deployment of THAAD altogether via unilateral sanctions and political pressure, the new agreement got Seoul to publicly state it would abide by three "no's": 1) no additional THAAD deployments in South Korea; 2) no participation in a US-led strategic missile defense system; and 3) no creation of a ROK-US-Japan trilateral military alliance", the article said.

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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 strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers, and other training", said a statement from the Navy's 7th Fleet, which is responsible for monitoring the Pacific including North Korea.

The objective 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".

The U.S. and South Korea kick-off a landmark operation in the Western Pacific.

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The leaders also agreed to continue their discussions next month when the South Korean president will make a trip to China for their third bilateral summit, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Now, a meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in appears to have strengthened relations between the countries.

The US administration thinks China's economic leverage over North Korea is the key to strong-arming Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

The Chinese president also underscored the importance of South Korea-China relations, saying the conditions on the Korean Peninsula were at a "pivotal" juncture.

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