Korea navy to join exercise with 3 United States aircraft carriers

Mattis said it has been 10 years since the last three-carrier exercises, adding that the United States doesn't "have an abundance of aircraft carriers" and it usually keeps them "spread out and working with allies".

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 U.S. strategic assets was the reason for the country needing a nuclear deterrent.

"The United States Navy is the only force in the world able to carry out such an exercise", a Navy official told DoD News.

The MSDF destroyers Inazuma, Makinami and Ise joined the carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt, along with a dozen or so other U.S. Navy ships that make up the three U.S. strike groups.

The exercise is the first time three carrier strike groups have operated together in the Western Pacific since exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007 off the coast of Guam, according to Navy officials.

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Mr Ja said the USA had reactivated round-the-clock sorties by B-52 strategic bombers and was making frequent flights of B-1B and B-2 bombers in the air space of South Korea, AFP reported.

"Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex", Swift said.

North Korea warned at the United Nations yesterday that the deployment of three U.S. aircraft carriers in joint navy drills with South Korea was fuelling tensions that could lead to nuclear war. "The U.S. efforts to expand its military influence in Asia-Pacific and the movement of big neighboring powers to contain it escalate the military tension and increase arms race in the region with each passing day", it said.

These exercises typically happen when an aircraft carrier deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations joins with the carrier based in Japan.

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