Three-Carrier Strike Force Exercise to Commence in Western Pacific

3 US aircraft carriers to conduct simultaneous maritime drill in the Pacific in massive show of force

Preparations were underway to have Self-Defense Force ships and aircraft join the exercise, Kyodo News quoted a Japanese government source as saying.

The largest USA warship in Asia, the USS Ronald Reagan, will join the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the naval exercise on November 11-14.

He mentioned that this type of operation is very complex.

Shin Won-sik, former head of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff operational headquarters, said that the U.S. Navy's coordinated operations would "give a taste" of Washington's military options on North Korea, which has often threatened to hit the U.S. mainland with long-range missiles.

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. In recent months, U.S. Navy carriers have conducted dual-carrier strike group exercises in the Western Pacific, including in the contested South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea.

Such a move is widely interpreted as a show of force against North Korea's nuclear threats and China's aggressiveness in the South China Sea.

North Korea will be at the top of the agenda as Trump tries to pressure Beijing into cracking down on Pyongyang.

Just days ahead of Trump's visit to Japan, the first stop on his Asia tour, the US sent two B-1B heavy bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam for bilateral missions with South Korean Air Force fighter jets and Air Self-Defense Force warplanes.

These opportunities typically come about when the strikes groups deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations from the West Coast of the U.S. are coupled with the forward deployed carrier strike group from Japan, said the report on the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.

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 touch-and-go situation is prevailing in the peninsula due to the US and south Korean puppet forces' military provocations", the official Rodong Sinmun wrote.

North Korea has repeatedly complained about American naval exercises in the region, but it has sparked global condemnation with repeated tests of missiles and nuclear weapons.

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