Pentagon confirms rare, three aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

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South Korea's military says the battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will successively enter the exercise area during the drills that run until Tuesday.

The military drills come as tensions remain sky-high as US President Donald Trump visits the region with the nuclear threat from North Korea dominating discussions.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, on a trip late last month to South Korea, was at pains to stress that diplomacy was America's preferred course to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told EFE in Seoul that the three USA aircraft carriers will also carry out maneuvers with the South Korean Navy, closer to North Korean territory, in the Sea of Japan - alternatively called the East Sea in the two Koreas.

Trump said in a speech at South Korea's parliament Wednesday, "Currently stationed in the vicinity of this peninsula are the three largest aircraft carriers in the world loaded to the maximum with magnificent F-35 and F-18 fighter jets".

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The Reagan participated in the 2006 exercises, the Nimitz in 2007.

"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".

During the drill, the first of its kind in a decade, the warships will carry out air strike and defense simulations, maritime surveillance, sea supply, coordinated fenced maneuvers and other training, added the Navy. More recently, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific including in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea.

South Korea's military announced its participation on Friday.

The JCS said in a statement that the exercise was seeking to strengthen and expand the dissuasive strategy to prevent Pyongyang from carrying out further provocations in the form of arms tests. This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past.

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