For the first time in 20 years, US warships are carrying out a three-day joint exercise operation with the Japanese military.
The operation, which began Thursday, is being conducted near the coast of North Korea, and involves the US aircraft carriers, USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan.
Just two days prior, the United States conducted a test on it’s long-range missile system, shooting down a fake nuclear bomb, in order to be prepared should North Korea exercise such an attack.
However, the joint exercises between Japan and the US are not intended to intimidate North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, but David Helvey, senior adviser to Defense Secretary James Mattis, said it is simply a routine exercise intended to keep US forces ready for any crisis, and to reassure allies.
“This is not about sending a message directly to North Korea. I don’t expect this to change North Korea’s behavior,” Helvey stated.
The Daily Mail noted that President Trump declared in April that the US was sending an ‘armada’ to the Peninsula – which angered North Korea – but the USS Carl Vinson was actually conducting exercises thousands of miles away, with the Australian navy.
The U.S. 7th Fleet posted the following statement on their Facebook page Thursday, “The Ronald Reagan and Carl Vinson Strike Groups were joined by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces for routine training to improve interoperability and readiness in the Indo-Asia Pacific.”
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