US, South Korea joint military drills begin in Western Pacific

Instead, the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) will be "deployed rotationally and sequentially" to carry out joint exercises with warships from the ROKN.

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

Nuclear-armed North Korea regularly denounces such military drills as rehearsals for invasion and sometimes conducts its own military manoeuvres or missile tests in response.

South Korea and the United States on Saturday kicked off a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan involving three US aircraft carriers amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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".

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

In a commentary released Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's official media, criticized the United States for "heightening military tension in the Asia-Pacific region".

More news: Emenalo Quits Chelsea over Row with Conte

"I am very glad to see you again after four months", Moon said at the start of their bilateral summit held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting here in the Vietnamese city.

President Trump is now on a tour of Asia that has taken him to Japan, South Korea and China so far.

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and working towards a solution through dialogue and negotiation.

China insists on peaceful denuclearization of North Korea.

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".

But experts doubt China will take the kind of steps that Trump wants, such as halting crude oil exports to the North.

  • Adam Floyd