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SUPERPOWERS
S. Korea to join three US aircraft carriers in drills
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Nov 10, 2017


South Korean warships will take part in upcoming joint drills involving three US aircraft carriers in a fresh show of force against North Korea, a Seoul military official said Friday.

The US Navy said Thursday that the three vessels -- the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt -- will conduct "coordinated operations in international waters" in the western Pacific between Saturday and Tuesday.

It is unusual for Washington to have three of its aircraft carriers in the same place at the same time, and US Pacific Fleet commander Scott Swift said in a statement it was the first such triple-carrier drill in the region since 2007.

Seven South Korean navy vessels -- three destroyers and four escort ships -- will take part in the exercises, the South Korean official said.

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.

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

The exercises come on the heels of US President Donald Trump's visit to Seoul and Beijing this week, with the North's nuclear and missile threats looming large.

On Wednesday, Trump warned North Korea not to "try" the United States but appeared to moderate his bellicose tone somewhat, offering Pyongyang's young leader Kim Jong-Un a "path to a better future".

SUPERPOWERS
Philippines scraps sandbar plan after China anger: defence chief
Manila (AFP) Nov 8, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered troops to scrap plans of building a fishermen's shelter on a sandbar in the disputed South China Sea after Beijing complained, his defence chief said Wednesday. The military in August had brought bamboo and palm roofing materials to the sandbar near one of their garrisons in the Spratlys archipelago before the president's intervention, Defence Sec ... read more

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