Xi calls on Seoul to resume North Korea talks

S. Korea to join three US aircraft carriers in drills

S. Korea to join three US aircraft carriers in drills

Relations between the two sides have been tense for months, as the North stepped up its missile tests. He is on 12-day five-nation Asia trip.

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".

He leaves for the Philippines on Sunday afternoon where he will attend the ASEAN summit of Southeast Asian leaders.

Three US aircraft carriers, accompanied by South Korean warships, launched a joint naval drill Saturday in a fresh show of force aimed at North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have dominated US President Donald Trump's ongoing tour of Asia.

They joined the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike groups.

The three carriers will be likely together in the drills around Monday, according to a South Korean military official, who didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

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The South Korean military will join a rare U.S. Navy exercise off the coast of the Korean Peninsula this weekend.

Two have overflown key U.S. ally Japan, and the regime has claimed that it now has the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile that can travel as far as the U.S. mainland.

"But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a military official said in a briefing.

According to US Navy's 7 Fleet, this is the first time since the joint naval exercise held in 2007 near Guam.

The US has been sending its strategic assets, also including long-range bombers, to the region more frequently for patrols or drills amid accelerating North Korean efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program.

It marks the first massive joint drills since Seoul and Washington agreed last month to enhance rotational deployments of US strategic assets to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

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