The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz with US and Japanese warships.
USA military aircraft practice touch-and-go maneuvers on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during an exercise in the Sea of Japan on November 13.
U.S. warships USS Nimitz, the Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt including South Korean naval vessels were involved in the exercise amid tensions in North Korea.
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Joining the three U.S. carriers and their strike groups were three Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force warships including the helicopter destroyer JS Ise, a guided-missile destroyer and general objective destroyer. "Pacific Fleet's unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region". This is the first time that three carrier strike groups have operated together in the Western Pacific since exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007 off the coast of Guam.
Officials point out Navy aircraft carriers more recently have conducted dual-carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific including in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea. Exercises closest to the Korean coast involved USA and South Korean ships, while those closest to Japan involved United States and Japanese ships, the official said.
These exercises typically happen when an aircraft carrier deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations joins with the carrier based in Japan. The MSDF said it is "using every opportunity" to strengthen ties between the two navies, the Japan Times reports. "The combined drills are to present our resolve and will to deter North Korea's provocations and retaliate if provoked", Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean official as saying.
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"We sent three of the largest aircraft carriers in the world (to the Korean Peninsula) and a nuclear submarine is also positioned", the American president warned Pyongyang soon after he landed in South Korea.
However, Pyongyangs state news agency accused the USA and South Korea of attempting to escalate tensions in the region.
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