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S Korea launch major war drills as N Korea looks on

S Korea launch major war drills as N Korea looks on

In addition to the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy also will mobilize 11 Aegis ships.

The United States and South Korea on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, started joint naval exercises that will involve three USA aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea.

A total of seven South Korean navy vessels, including Aegis-equipped warships, will participate in the drill, the statement said, to accompany 14 US naval warships.

The countries will practice air operations, air artillery strikes and aircraft carrier escorts, Reuters reported.

Such large-scale drills serve as a potent reminder of the U.S. ability to rapidly mobilize military force, a capability the Trump administration has been keen to emphasize as Pyongyang races ahead with tests to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States. The US 7th Fleet did not mention where in the western Pacific the three aircraft carriers would be conducting their exercises.

The KTO is a theater for military operations near the Korean Peninsula, which is designated by the commander of combined forces of South Korea and the United States.

The drills are reportedly the first of their kind since the three carrier strike groups conducted the Valiant Shield exercise off the coast of Guam in 2006 and 2007.

From the end of May to the beginning of June, the US Navy sent two aircraft carriers - the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson - to the waters around the Korean Peninsula to conduct joint exercises.

This is the first time in a decade three carrier strike groups will operate together and the event is coinciding with President Donald Trump's Asia visit, the Japan Times reported.

He added, "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".

Trump though tried to avoid his earlier threats to North Korea, was clear in his vows to counter aggravations with military force, according to the CNN. This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past.