US fleet flex muscles off Korean coast
Donald Trump has sent a three-strong group of nuclearpowered aircraft carriers to carry out manoeuvres near the coast of North Korea.
The US President has spent last week touring East Asia and the latest escalation in tensions with Kim Jong-un came as he met regional leaders at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.
The North Korean dictator said Mr Trump is “begging for war” in a statement to state news. Super-carriers the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz are leading the naval group in the show of power by Washington.
The exercise started last night and is due to finish on Tuesday.
Japan said it would send one of its two helicopter carriers, the largest ships in its fleet, along with two warships to join the drill. The South Korean defence ministry said: “The exercise is aimed at enhancing deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and showing off preparedness to fend off any provocative acts by the North.”
Aegis guided missile cruisers from the US and South Korea will also be present and are designed to defend the carriers from enemy ships, submarines, aircraft and missiles.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “Trump, during his visit, laid bare his true nature as destroyer of world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula.”