N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

Jim Watson  AFP  Getty Images President Donald Trump addresses the National Assembly in Seoul South Korea Nov. 8 2017

Jim Watson AFP Getty Images President Donald Trump addresses the National Assembly in Seoul South Korea Nov. 8 2017

The drills began in waters off South Korea's eastern coast.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the maneuvers are aimed at bolstering the South Korea-U.S. alliance's policy of "extended deterrence" against the North's nuclear and missile provocations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had insulted him by calling him "old" and said he would never call Kim "short and fat".

According to the U.S. Navy, it is the first three-carrier exercise in the Western Pacific since 2007.

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Trump told an audience of CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam, that the region's future "must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail".

Nuclear-armed North Korea regularly denounces such military drills as rehearsals for invasion and sometimes conducts its own military manoeuvres or missile tests in response.

This isn't the first time Trump and Kim have traded barbs.

On Tuesday, during a speech, he said: "Do not underestimate us". So, as the president finishes the last leg of his Asia trip, he chose to take to Twitter and bash North Korean Kim Jong-un "short and fat".

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"Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of the world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula", the statement said.

"The future of this region and its lovely people must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail", he said during a speech in Vietnam at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Trump's tweet was part of a series of tweets that included China's plan of "upping the sanctions" against North Korea and how Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to "denuclearize" the country.

They will aim to enhance combined operation and aerial strike capabilities and also display "strong will and firm military readiness to defeat any provocation by North Korea with dominant force in the event of crisis", Seoul's military said in a statement.

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During his trip to Asia, Trump attempted a symbolic stare-down of Kim this week at the heavily fortified border that separates North and South Korea.

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