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N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

14 November 2017
N. Korea blasts Trump's 'warmonger' Asia tour

The four-day drills that began in waters off South Korea's eastern coast came as President Donald Trump traded insults with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

The Rodong Sinmun on Sunday issued an article titled "Trump laid bare his true nature as destroyer of the world peace in his Asia tour", criticizing his remarks and speeches during trips to South Korea, Japan and China.

He called on nations to stop financing and trading with North Korea.

Trump continued his tough talk against Pyongyang on Friday in a speech to business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, saying that the region's future "must not be held hostage to a dictator's twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail", referring to the North Korean leader.

"The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger", Trump said about North Korea during an address at South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul earlier this week.

It marks the first time that three US aircraft carriers have joined together at close range for a joint exercise with South Korea, officials said.

Also to be mobilized are 11 U.S. Aegis ships and seven South Korean warships.

The goal of the exercise was to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's ability to "operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force efforts", the navy said, adding that the three carrier strike groups will conduct training including "air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishment at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuver".

The Pentagon said on Wednesday the drill involving three aircraft carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific would be carried out for the first time in a decade, confirming a Reuters report.

North Korea is not known to have tested any of its missiles or nuclear devices since September 15, a relative lull after a brisk series of tests earlier this year.

It also flew two new midrange missiles over Japan and threatened to launch them toward Guam, a US Pacific territory and military hub.