United States warships are set to conduct the country’s largest naval drill in the West Pacific region as President Donald Trump is visiting the Asia region while continuing his sabre rattling against North Korea.
The Pentagon has announced that, three US aircraft carrier strike groups will take part in joint drills in the Western Pacific.
In the largest naval exercise in a decade, the USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Theodore Roosevelt strike groups will soon join forces in the Pacific, Reuters first reported Monday. The report added that a Japanese destroyer, the Inazuma, will join the US maneuvers. In 2007, the USS Nimitz, USS John C. Stennis and USS Kitty Hawk carrier strike groups joined forces in combined drills near Guam.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon officially announced that the three strike carrier groups will jointly conduct drills forces from Saturday to Tuesday.
“It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three,” Admiral Scott Swift, the US Pacific Fleet commander, said in a statement. “Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the US Pacific Fleet’s unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.”
News of the upcoming maneuvers emerged as President Donald Trump continues his 11-day Asia tour. During this Trump has continued his sabre rattling against North Korea thus contributing to rising tensions in the region.
North Korea views any naval drills in the vicinity of its borders as a direct threat to its national security. Pyongyang has repeatedly warned that it would use its nuclear arsenal if provoked by US and its allies. Fears of an all-out war between the US and North Korea is further amplified by constant exchanges of threats between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In its latest commentary on Monday, the North’s KCNA news agency noted that Trump has the “right to mount a preemptive attack on the DPRK without parliamentary approval,” and warned that Pyongyang would respond “with the tremendous nuclear force it has so far built.”