Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

AOA,Seolhyun Three US supercarriers to conduct joint drills in waters off Korean peninsula
Andrew Cummings | 12 November, 2017, 02:13

The United States and South Korea began joint naval exercises Saturday involving three US aircraft carriers, in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea.

The joint chiefs of staff of South Korea said in a statement in Seoul that its naval vessels will participate in the drills.

This is the first time the South Korean Navy has conducted a joint drill with three USA aircraft carriers, meaning the exercise will exert heavy military pressure on North Korea. "South Korea and the USA are now discussing whether or not the South Korean Navy will take part in the exercises as well", the source said.

A flurry of missile tests from North Korea this year have raised the likelihood of South Korea using the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system - something China has vehemently opposed.

The drill is also in response to North Korean nuclear and missile provocations, the South's military said, and to show any such developments by Pyongyang can be repelled with "overwhelming force".

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"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".

The Korean side will mobilize seven vessels including two Aegis ships.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) submitted the text to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Ways and Means Committee Thursday after President Donald Trump's state visit to Seoul earlier this week.

Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in worldwide waters to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort. The 7th Fleet said that the previous joint exercises involving three carrier strike groups had taken place off the coast of Guam in 2006 and 2007.

South Korea and the United States have repeatedly said THAAD only serves to defend against the growing missile threat from North Korea.

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