Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

Three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups are scheduled to conduct joint drills with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) over the next few days in a show of force against North Korea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Friday.

The first payoff is that the agreement offers assurances from Seoul that it recognizes China "strategic position in the region".

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.

They will aim to enhance combined operation and aerial strike capabilities and also display "strong will and firm military readiness to defeat any provocation by North Korea with dominant force in the event of crisis", Seoul's military said in a statement.

The US warships will carry out air defense drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training and other training operations, the US Navy said.

The U.S. Navy's previous training operation involving three carriers was in the vicinity of Guam in the Western Pacific in 2007 during the Valiant Shield exercise.

At a summit in Seoul Tuesday, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In agreed to increase the deployment of U.S. military assets around the Korean peninsula to step up pressure on the North.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met here Saturday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the two compared notes on bilateral ties and the Korean Peninsula situation.

Tensions have been running high since North Korea test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 and flew ballistic missiles over Japan on August 29 and September 15.

Xi repeated his plea for the issue to be resolved through negotiations, saying China was ready to discuss the "pathway leading to enduring peace and stability on the peninsula".

Beijing fears that squeezing Pyongyang too hard could cause the regime to collapse, sending an influx of refugees across its border and placing the U.S. army at its doorstep.

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