USA aircraft carriers to conduct joint drill in Pacific

USA aircraft carriers to conduct joint drill in Pacific

Three U.S. aircraft carriers will soon conduct a rare combined exercise in the Western Pacific, the U.S. military announced Thursday, as President Donald Trump is traveling to Asia.

North Korea will be at the top of the agenda as Trump tries to pressure Beijing into cracking down on Pyongyang.

The exercises, which will run from Saturday through Tuesday, will involve the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Ronald Reagan as well as the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt strike groups. Ronald Reagan took part in VS 2006 and Nimitz took part in VS 2007. Kim has called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard".

Just days ahead of Trump's visit to Japan, the first stop on his Asia tour, the US sent two B-1B heavy bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam for bilateral missions with South Korean Air Force fighter jets and Air Self-Defense Force warplanes.

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.




North Korea has repeatedly complained about American naval exercises in the region, but it has sparked worldwide condemnation with repeated tests of missiles and nuclear weapons. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft.

Trump also noted that the three US aircraft carriers "are appropriately positioned" near the Korean Peninsula. "It does demonstrate a capability that no other nation in the world can do", Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie Jr said earlier this month.

Addressing the North Korea crisis, the US President tweeted: "NoKo has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness".

In a commentary Monday, North Korean state-run media said that "that no one can predict when the lunatic old man of the White House, lost to senses, will start a nuclear war against the DPRK". After almost two decades pursuing a failed strategy involving one foreign military intervention after another, the USA stands at the precipice of nuclear war.

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