Korean Navy, 3 US Carriers to Conduct Joint Drill

With a deafening roar, FA-18 fighter jets and other aircraft performed touch-and-go landing operations on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on November 13 in a display intended for both reporters and North Korea.

The three carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz, and their multi-ship strike groups are finishing up four days of exercises in the waters between South Korea and Japan on Tuesday.

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three", the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Navy Adm. Scott Swift, said in a U.S. 7th Fleet release.

The first such deployment of three United States carriers since 2007 "is making it impossible to predict when nuclear war breaks out due to the U.S. nuclear war equipment" taking up a "strike posture", he wrote.

The exercise involves three US aircraft carrier groups, making it the largest show of force in a decade.

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The strike groups were expected to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers and carry out other training. Exercises closest to the Korean coast involved USA and South Korean ships, while those closest to Japan involved United States and Japanese ships, the official said.

While operating in the Sea of Japan on November 12, the U.S. Navy carriers were joined by a fleet of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) warships that included the JS Ise, a 1 3,950-ton Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer, the JS Makinami, a Takanami-class guided-missile antisubmarine warfare destroyer, and the lead ship of the Murasame-class of general objective destroyers, JS Murasame. The MSDF said it is "using every opportunity" to strengthen ties between the two navies, the Japan Times reports.

The U.S.S. Nimitz, the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, and the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan all took part in the exercise, along with their accompanying vessels.

South Korean military said it was keeping a close watch on North Korea's military activities while "maintaining military readiness for any possible provocations by North North Korea".

However, Pyongyangs state news agency accused the USA and South Korea of attempting to escalate tensions in the region.

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