US President, Donald Trump, has sent three of the US Navy’s biggest aircraft carriers to stage joint drills in the Western Pacific Ocean, for the first time in ten years.
The US Navy confirmed drills would be taking place ‘in international waters’ as continued tension between North Korea and the United States, along with their allies, continue to mount.
Operations will be begin this weekend and in a statement from Scott Swift – the commander of the US Pacific Fleet – he said it shows Washington’s:
… ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.
Trump is currently on a tour of Asia, which included a trip to the North’s neighbours, South Korea, who they are technically still at war with.
This week he sent another stark warning to the North’s ‘Supreme Leader’, Kim Jong-un, telling him not to ‘try’ the United States, reports the Daily Mail.
However in a turn which was seemingly out of character, Trump wanted to offer Kim a ‘path to a better future’.
Trump’s round trip of Asia concludes today with a visit to China and their president, Xi Jinping, who’ve been staunch allies of the North Korean regime – this is partly due to the fact China acts as bridge for North Korea – who have otherwise cut ties with the international community at large.
They want to avoid all out war because it could potentially mean an influx of North Korean refugees making their way to China,who’ve had their own issues with over-population in the past.
In recent years, Beijing and Washington have been at odds due to Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea.
However, talks will most likely be dominated by the supposed threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programme.
The US Navy’s upcoming drills, with their three big aircraft carriers – USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt – will also include air defence drills, sea surveillance and defensive air combat training.
Commander Swift added:
It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together and even rarer to be able to train with three.
This week, in his trip to South Korea, Trump labelled the long-reigning government in the DPRK as a ‘sinister regime’.
Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us and do not try us.
.. the world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens it with nuclear devastation.
All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea – to deny it any form of support, supply, or acceptance.
He described Kim’s regime as ‘a country ruled like a cult’ by ‘a deranged belief in the ruler’s destiny’.
He sent a direct message to Kim saying:
The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer. They are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.
North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather [Kim Il-sung] envisioned.
It is a hell that no person deserves.
This is the latest in a war of words – which is by rights turning into an outright contest of ‘who’s got a bigger stick’ – between two of the international communities most polarising figures.
Let’s just hope it remains a verbal sparring session – nuclear war is not my cup of tea.