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S. Korea to train with three U.S. aircraft carriers

2017/11/10 14:22

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SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military announced Friday it will kick off a rare combined exercise with three U.S. aircraft carriers near the peninsula this weekend aimed at demonstrating the allies' firm defense posture against North Korean threats.

Their navies plan to begin the four-day drill, which will involve the three flattops -- USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt -- in the East Sea on Saturday, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The carriers, already operating in the Western Pacific, will sail one by one into the waters east of Korea for the event, it added.

Also to be mobilized are 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean warships, including two Aegis vessels.

Three U.S. aircraft carriers -- USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS John C. Stennis -- steam in formation during a 2007 training exercise in the Western Pacific in this photo released by the 7th Fleet. (Yonhap) Three U.S. aircraft carriers -- USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS John C. Stennis -- steam in formation during a 2007 training exercise in the Western Pacific in this photo released by the 7th Fleet. (Yonhap)

"The participating forces of the two nations plan to enhance combined operation capability and interoperability through aircraft carrier escort operation, aviation operation and aerial firing," said the JCS.

The upcoming practice is aimed at bolstering the South Korea-U.S. alliance's policy of "extended deterrence" against the North's nuclear and missile provocations, it added.

The allies will also show off their readiness to mount a strong retaliation with overwhelming firepower in the event of an emergency, the JCS stressed.

The U.S. Navy's previous training operation involving three carriers was in the vicinity of Guam in the Western Pacific in 2007 during the Valiant Shield exercise.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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