Korea navy to join exercise with 3 United States aircraft carriers

The South Korean military said that the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt will stage a joint drill with the South Korean Navy on Sunday afternoon in the Korea theater of operations (KTO) off the country's east coast.

North Korean military personnel are reportedly preparing for their winter training exercises as three USA aircraft carriers lurk near the Korean Peninsula in an unprecedented show of force by Washington's navy.

The show of strength was meant to underline the USA administration's resolve to respond to North Korean provocation with possible military action as well as strengthened economic sanctions.

The exercises show North Korea is right to build up its defenses, the letter said.

Admiral Harris, however, warned Kim Jong-un the U.S. is ready to strike but would prefer a peaceful solution.

The presence of the three aircraft carriers in waters around the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea, unnerved North Korea, who said the presence of USA strategic assets was the reason for the country needing a nuclear deterrent.

North Korea's United Nations ambassador Ja Song-nam said the USA carrier group's presence has raised the threat of possible nuclear war.

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The ambassador added: "The large-scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails, which the USA stages for a whole year without a break in collaboration with its followers to stifle our republic, make one conclude that the option we have taken was the right one and we should go along the way to the last".

The objective of the exercise was to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to "operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force efforts", the navy said, adding that the three carrier strike groups will conduct training including "air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishment at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuver".

KCNA also cited other recent US military moves, such as the first deployment of stealthy US Air Force F-35 fighters to Okinawa, as signs Washington is ramping up for war against North Korea.

He didn't elaborate on what "the last" might be, but North Korea has launched ballistic missiles that have the potential to strike the U.S. mainland, and it recently conducted its largest-ever underground nuclear explosion.

Traditionally Kim Jong-un's troops train from December to April.

"The large-scale nuclear war exercises and blackmails, which the United States staged for a whole year without a break in collaboration with its followers to stifle our republic, make one conclude that the option we have taken was the right one and we should go along the way to the last", Ja said.

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