The United States and South Korea started joint naval exercises on Saturday, involving three US aircraft carriers. Military officials of the countries described the exercises as a clear warning to North Korea.
Reports state that the four-day drills began in the South Korea's eastern coast as US President Donald Trump continued with his official Asia visit. Trump's discussions during his trip has been dominated with talks on North Korea's nuclear threat.
North Korea has continued to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, despite several sanctions imposed on the country by the United Nations. Pyongyang, in its effort to become a nuclear power, has cornered itself to isolation, as most nations across the world are against North's nuclear aspirations.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that 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.
Reports state that the three carriers will be brought together in the drills on Monday. The exercises will involve 11 US Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships. The Aegis technology refers to missile defence.
Seoul's military released a statement saying that the Aegis technology during the drills will aim to enhance combined operation and aerial strike capabilities and also display "strong will and firm military readiness to defeat any provocation by North Korea with dominant force in the event of crisis."
Tensions between the US and North Korea have escalated as the leaders of the two countries have been locked in a bitter war of words over Pyongyang's ambitious nuclear programme.
The situation worsened when Trump, during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), vowed to annihilate North Korea if it posed any threat to the US and its allies, and called the Pyongyang leader "rocket man" on a suicide mission.