U.S. military to launch 3-carrier drill in Pacific

US aircraft carrier near Korean peninsula

US aircraft carrier near Korean peninsula

It is still unclear when the exercises would take place.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told EFE in Seoul that the three United States aircraft carriers will also carry out maneuvers with the South Korean Navy, closer to North Korean territory, in the Sea of Japan - alternatively called the East Sea in the two Koreas.

Since taking office, Trump has vowed to expand the fleet of US carriers, even as some military strategists and experts believe the massive ships would be increasingly vulnerable to modern Chinese and Russian weapons in any conflict.

"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", he added.

While at sea, 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. A decade ago, Valiant Shield (VS) 2006 and 2007 had operated together off the coast of Guam, a USA island territory in Micronesia, and focused on the ability to bring together forces from all the three strike groups in response to any regional situation.

The last time three carrier strike groups operated together in the area was in 2006 and 2007 under the auspices of the Valiant Shield exercises off the coast of Guam.

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Three US aircraft carriers are set to conduct a simultaneous maritime drill in the Pacific in a massive show of force by Washington's navy amid threats emerging from North Korea.

A defense source said the three carriers will convene at sea relatively close to the Korean Peninsula. The fleet is just as committed to maintaining those security commitments for the next 70 years.

The strike exercise has come up amidst growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang's nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs. "As long as the U.S. and its followers continue their hostile acts against us, we will further bolster our nuclear, precious sword of justice", said a dispatch carried by the North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun shortly ahead of Trump's arrival. "It is a hell that no person deserves", the CNN reported.

North Korea, which sees any military drills near its country as a rehearsal for invasion, has not responded to the news of the drills yet, nor has it reacted to any of Trump's remarks during his time in Japan, South Korea and China.

He said of the North Korean threats to strike the USA and its allies, "That would be a fatal miscalculation".

These weapons tests, along with Trump's belligerent rhetoric, have escalated tensions to unprecedented levels since the end of the Korean War (1950-1953).

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