The South Korean Navy is conducting a joint exercise with three U.S. aircraft carriers near the Peninsula over the weekend to demonstrate the allies' defense posture against North Korea's threats.
South Korea's Joints Chiefs of Staff says the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Nimitz and the USS Theodore Roosevelt are conducting a four-day exercise in the East Sea.
Also taking part are eleven U.S. Aegis destroyers and seven South Korean warships, including two Aegis destroyers.
One U.S. aircraft carrier has up to 80 fighter jets, and is commonly dubbed a floating air base.
China's Global Times reported on Friday that the exercise could heighten tensions with North Korea.
Many Chinese experts say Washington is increasing its military presence in the region not only to force North Korea into submission, but also to put pressure on Beijing.
However, the South Korean military says the purpose is to enhance the allies' combined operational capability and interoperability through aircraft carriers, aviation and aerial firing operations.
It added the exercise aims to bolster the allies' policy of extended deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations.
It's the first time in a decade that three U.S. aircraft carriers have converged in the western Pacific.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.