Three US carriers lead naval drill aimed at N Korea
Three US carriers lead naval drill aimed at N Korea
GETTYDonald Trump is being pleaded with to help save North Korean lives
13 November, 2017, 11:41
The country's joint chiefs of staff (JCS) announced Friday that South Korea will send seven of its warships-including two Aegis Combat System-equipped vessels, one destroyer and four frigates-to join three USA aircraft carriers deployed in the Western Pacific that will perform their first joint drill in a decade.
A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea through the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the demilitarized zone Monday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The defector is now in South Korean military custody, according to the statement.
About 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, but majority travel through China.
The exercises will also involve 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships.
Trump has embarked on a tour of Asia this week trying to rally regional support for curbing North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, warning that time is running out over the crisis. The Aegis technology refers to missile tracking and guidance.
The rare three-carrier exercises kicked off Saturday and will run through Tuesday in a show of force that coincides with the final leg of U.S. President Donald Trump's Asia tour.
The last time such drills were held was during the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007, which took place off the coast of the US territory of Guam, which hosts two USA military bases and is on the North Korean radar for a potential missile strike.
"Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday, in a statement published by the KCNA news agency.
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.
He further said that it is nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the USA defense industry by milking the moneybags from its subordinate "allies".
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