Korea to train with three United States aircraft carriers

USS Theodore Roosevelt

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan conducts joint drills with the South Korean navy at sea on October 19.

The U.S. 7th Fleet on Wednesday said three aircraft strike groups would begin a "three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific" from Saturday to Tuesday.

The four-day drills that began in waters off South Korea's eastern coast come as President Donald Trump continues a visit to Asia that has been dominated by discussions over the North Korean nuclear threat.

Seoul and Beijing also agreed to swiftly restore bilateral exchanges in all fields based on their recent agreement to normalize relations following a period of conflict over South Korea's deployment of the THAAD missile defense system.

The US warships will carry out air defence drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training and other training operations, the US Navy said.

At a summit in Seoul Tuesday, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In agreed to increase the deployment of United States military assets around the Korean peninsula to step up pressure on the North.

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Trump's approval rating at 38 percent - the lowest for the survey since February, when he was a month into his presidency. Lacking any real options, Trump has placed much of the blame on son-in-law Jared Kushner .

The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday reaffirmed their joint efforts to peacefully resolve North Korea's nuclear problem in a summit highlighting the recent normalization of bilateral ties estranged by the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea.

"The future of this region and its handsome 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.

It is feared the thawing tensions between South Korea and China could outrage tyrannical North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who may launch a deadly nuclear strike at any time.

Bong Young-shik, an expert on regional relations at South Korea's Yonsei University, said: "China's economic retaliation only pushed Korea closer into the trilateral alliance between Japan and the US".

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump reiterated firm commitment to achieving denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and working towards a solution through dialogue and negotiation.

Though China has backed United Nations sanctions, U.S. officials want Chinese authorities to clamp down on unauthorised trade along the North Korean border.

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