The U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups, including the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, USS Theodore Roosevelt kicked off a rare four-day exercise in the Western Pacific. The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement the carrier strike group converged near South Korea for a rare four-day exercise in the Western Pacific, with their accompanying warships set to conduct “coordinated operations to demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinate strike force effort”. According to an official from the South Korean military, the strike groups was planning to hold joint military exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self- Defense Force on Saturday and Sunday, after which they will train with the South Korean Navy on Monday and Tuesday. U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift said in a statement, “Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region”. The North Korean dictator is said to have examined it for a “long time” and warned the United States to cease its reckless actions. Shin Won-sik, former head of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff operational headquarters, said that the U.S. Navy’s coordinated operations would “give a taste” of Washington’s military options on North Korea. Shim Beom-chul, a professor of defense and unification issues at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul said, “It’s a message to China to do more to pressure the North.” Shim added that Trump’s way of pursuing foreign policy objectives through the support of naval power is a type of “gunboat diplomacy”.
The official media of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) today called on the international