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US, South Korea start drills in show of force against North Korea

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a mass formation of ships from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, France, Canada, Australia and the United States through the Pacific Ocean July 24, 2010, during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise and is designed to increase mutual cooperation and enhance the tactical capabilities of participating nations in various aspects of maritime operations at sea. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Taylor, U.S. Navy/Released)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) ā€” The United States and South Korea have started joint naval drills that will involve three U.S. aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea.

The four-day drills that began Saturday in waters off South Korea's eastern coast come as President Donald Trump continues a visit to Asia that has been dominated by discussions over the North Korean nuclear threat.

South Korea's military says the battle groups of the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will successively enter the exercise area during the drills that run until Tuesday.

The three carriers will be likely together in the drills around Monday.

It's the first time since 2007 that three U.S. carrier strike groups are operating together in the Western Pacific.

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