SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Three U.S. aircraft carriers planned to stage joint maritime drills in waters near the Korean Peninsula from this weekend, Yonhap news agency reported Thursday.
Without elaborating on sources, Yonhap reported that the U.S. carriers would conduct joint exercises in international waters near the peninsula and that the strike groups also planned a joint drill with the South Korean Navy in waters off the east coast of South Korea.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said in a press release on its website that the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt will commence a three-carrier exercise in the Western Pacific from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14.
The strike groups will conduct coordinated operations in international waters, the Pacific Fleet said.
"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three," said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Scott Swift.
The strike groups planned to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers and other training, according to the press release.
South Korea's defense ministry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun told a press briefing Thursday that the joint exercise between the U.S. aircraft carriers and the South Korean Navy was in consultation.
The spokesman, however, said there has been no plan to conduct a trilateral maritime drill, including Japan.