North Korea warned at the United Nations yesterday that the deployment of three U.S. aircraft carriers in joint navy drills with South Korea was fuelling tensions that could lead to nuclear war. This is the first time the three supercarriers are sailing together in the same region in almost 10 years, making it clear that the Trump administration is determined to flex its muscles against the Kim Jong-un regime.
A rarely seen three-carrier force including the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt is finishing a major exercise in the Western Pacific, demonstrating the Navy's unique ability to operate multiple carrier strike groups.
The exercises, which also have involved US B-1 bombers, are creating "the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean Peninsula", North Korea's UN Ambassador Ja Song Nam said in a letter to the secretary-general on Monday.
Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that "this is what we normally do with allies".
The KTO is a theater for military operations near the Korean Peninsula, which is designated by the commander of combined forces of South Korea and the United States.
North Korean government officials told CNN's Will Ripley in Pyongyang last week that the USA was increasingly taking action that could "ignite another Korean War".
"Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex", Swift said. The Reagan - homeported in Japan - joined the other two carriers, which are based in the Western United States.
This is the first time all three U.S. aircraft carriers are taking part at the same time in a military exercise in over a decade.
Following the bilateral JMSDF-US Navy exercise, the carriers strike groups linked up with seven Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) warships including two Aegis guided missile destroyers for war games meant to deter North Korea.
He added, "This exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S".
"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", a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said.