Monday, November 6, 2017

US, South Korea, Australia Conduct Joint Military Drills in East China Sea

USS Chafee
The exercises are taking place during Trump's Asian trip. Currently, he is in Japan, and on Tuesday he will arrive in South Korea.

South Korean Navy command said that the United States, South Korea and Australia launched navy drills which are "aimed at the prevention of import and export of North Korean nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and at the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions regarding illicit and provocative actions of North Korea."

According to the statement, four vessels, namely, a South Korean Sejong destroyer carrying an Aegis combat system, the US destroyer Chafee and two Australian frigates, the Melbourne and the Parramatta, are participating in the exercises, which will last for two days, Sputnik reported.

The drills take place amid US President Donald Trump's trip to Asia. On Tuesday, the president will arrive in South Korea for a two-day visit to discuss North Korean issue among other topics.

The tensions around North Korea have recently escalated due to the repeated ballistic missile launches and a nuclear test by Pyongyang followed by UNSC sanctions imposed on North Korea. As a result, Pyongyang and Washington engaged in trading threats and warnings. Most notably, in August, Pyongyang said it was considering a strategy to strike the US pacific territory of Guam. Trump said, in turn, that Washington would respond to North Korea's threats with "fire and fury."

​In mid-October, the United States and South Korea conducted joint exercises in the Japanese and the Yellow Seas. Drills involved 40 ships, including US nuclear aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.

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