The Daily Manila Shimbun


US, South Korea begin joint naval drill off Korean Peninsula

October 16, 2017

TOKYO- The United States and South Korea began a joint naval drill on Monday in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea off the Korean Peninsula to prepare for possible provocations by North Korea, according to South Korean authorities.

Joined by a total of 40 vessels, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and a South Korean Aegis ship, the drill is scheduled to continue through Friday to enhance joint operation capabilities, said officials of the South Korean Ministry of National Defense.

North Korea may conduct provocative acts, including a missile launch, to protest the joint exercise.

"In various locations in the North, TELs (transporter erector launchers) have repeatedly appeared and disappeared," a South Korean military official said Sunday, according to the South's Yonhap news agency.

"Based on this, we have judged that the North could launch a provocation at any time, and we have remained on increased alert," the official was also quoted as saying.

An enormous amount of strategic assets, including the USS Ronald Reagan, are gathering in and around South Korea, the Rodong Sinmun daily of the Workers' Party of Korea, North Korea's ruling party, said in its Sunday edition.

North Korea's nuclear force is a deterrent to end nuclear threats from the United States and prevent any military invasion, the paper said, stressing again the reclusive state's policy of continuing its nuclear development toward the final goal of achieving military equilibrium with the United States. Jiji Press