Korea joint exercise in Sea of Japan gets underway

USS Theodore Roosevelt

The USS Theodore Roosevelt underway. Navy

On North Korea's nuclear and missile development issue, the two leaders agreed the need to stably manage the current security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The four-day military exercise will begin off the east coast of South Korea on Saturday.

The battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will successively enter the exercise area during the drills that run until Tuesday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

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 US aircraft carriers deployed in the Western Pacific that will perform their first joint drill in a decade.

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

The Pentagon said on Wednesday the drill involving three aircraft carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific would be carried out for the first time in a decade, confirming a Reuters report. The U.S. carriers will also participate in separate exercises with three Japanese destroyers on Sunday, according to Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

In a commentary released Saturday, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's official media, criticized the United States for "heightening military tension in the Asia-Pacific region".

China hit the jackpot in three major ways in its recent agreement to mend ties with South Korea over the latter's deployment of a US THAAD antimissile system, according to 38 North, a respected specialist website on North Korea.

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It has repeatedly threatened to launch ballistic missiles into the waters around the USA territory of Guam.

The Chinese leader also encouraged South Korea to resume dialogue with North Korea and re-engage with them for reconciliation and de-nuclearisation.

The exercises come on the heels of Trump's visits to Seoul and Beijing this week, which were dominated by the question of how to counter Pyongyang's nuclear weapons threat. "And do not try us".

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