US, S. Korea begin joint Naval drills

Marsha Scott
November 12, 2017

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 exercises will also involve 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships.

South Korea's military announced Friday it will kick off a rare combined exercise with three USA aircraft carriers near the peninsula this weekend aimed at demonstrating the allies' firm defense posture against North Korean threats.

The leaders "shared the view on the need to stably manage the current security condition on the Korean Peninsula in relation to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and agreed to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue", Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Aegis technology refers to missile tracking and guidance.

According to the U.S. Navy, it is the first three-carrier exercise in the Western Pacific since 2007.

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The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday reaffirmed their joint efforts to peacefully resolve North Korea's nuclear problem in a summit highlighting the recent normalization of bilateral ties estranged by the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea.

In a commentary released Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's official media, criticized the United States for "heightening military tension in the Asia-Pacific region".

It has repeatedly threatened to launch ballistic missiles into the waters around the US territory of Guam.

Trump had also delivered a sharp warning to North Korea in a speech at South Korea's parliament on Wednesday, telling the country: "Do not underestimate us".

After President Donald Trump described his strategy on containing North Korea as "peace through strength", Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North Korean ruling party's mouthpiece, published an article on Friday protesting the drills and vowing to "defend peace until the end".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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