United States aircraft carriers to conduct joint drill in Pacific

John Kerry has warned US President Donald Trump that ranting about North Korea on Twitter could fuel the regime's nuclear ambitions. Gary Cameron Reuters

The San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt will join two other nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in a rare strike-force exercise in the Sea of Japan beginning Saturday.

The last time three U.S. carrier strike groups exercised together was in 2007, when the Nimitz, along with the John C. Stennis and Kitty Hawk carrier strike groups participated in drills near Guam.

Animosity between the United States and the isolated regime could increase further when the first three-aircraft carrier exercise begins on Saturday.

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three", said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift.

Like those earlier maritime maneuvers, this year's Valiant Shield tests the Navy's ability to rapidly deploy a trio of strike groups to address a regional crisis. He added, "Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific's ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region".

Recently, the U.S. Navy aircraft carriers conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific region that included the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told EFE in Seoul that the three United States aircraft carriers will also carry out maneuvers with the South Korean Navy, closer to North Korean territory, in the Sea of Japan - alternatively called the East Sea in the two Koreas.

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The U.S. 7th Fleet, which announced the exercise yesterday, have said it will demonstrate its resolve with allies Japan and South Korea.

During his recent visit to Seoul, Trump said, " North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. "As long as the USA and its followers continue their hostile acts against us, we will further bolster our nuclear, precious sword of justice", said a dispatch carried by the North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun shortly ahead of Trump's arrival.

"While in a war against China, US carriers might be vulnerable, they wouldn't be in any conflict against North Korea.and three US carriers can deliver a tremendous amount of airpower".

Nuclear-armed North Korea has lashed out at the military muscle-flexing, which it calls a rehearsal for invasion.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, on a trip late last month to South Korea, was at pains to stress that diplomacy was America's preferred course to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

The regime added that Trump's very visit to South Korea was meant to "light the fuse for a nuclear war".

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