S Korea to join three United States aircraft carriers in drills

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The three flattops are the USS Ronald Reagan, Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt.

SEOUL-South Korea will join three US aircraft carrier strike groups in a joint drill scheduled for November 11 to 14, the South's military said on Friday.

It is the first such triple-carrier drill in the region for a decade.

"The training is aimed at restraining North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations and showing our military's strong willingness to act and military preparedness", the JCS said, quoted in the local press.

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

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 US missile defense system in South Korea.

After President Donald Trump described his strategy on containing North Korea as "peace through strength", Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the North Korean ruling party's mouthpiece, published an article on Friday protesting the drills and vowing to "defend peace until the end".

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The leaders also agreed to continue their discussions next month when the South Korean president will make a trip to China for their third bilateral summit, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

The United States has been sending its strategic assets, also including long-range bombers, to the region more frequently for patrols or drills amid accelerating North Korean efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program.

President Trump is now on a tour of Asia that has taken him to Japan, South Korea and China so far.

Seoul's presidential office said the two leaders reached the agreement at talks in Da Nang, Vietnam on Saturday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

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.

Beijing fears that squeezing Pyongyang too hard could cause the regime to collapse, sending an influx of refugees across its border and placing the United States army at its doorstep.

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