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13 November 2017, 02:09 | Darnell Patrick
Trump could face thorny issues on South Korea visit
At a summit, the leaders "shared the view on the need to stably manage the current security condition on the Korean Peninsula in relation to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and agreed to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue", Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The three flattops - USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt - entered the operational area, called the Korea Theater of Operations (KTO), for the four-day maneuvers slated to end Tuesday.
This came amid the U.S. President Donald Trump's Asia visit, which was largely focused on about the North Korean nuclear threat.
Also on Saturday, the US and South Korean navies launched four days of joint drills off the east coast of South Korea.
The exercises will also involve 11 US Aegis ships and seven South Korean naval vessels, including two Aegis ships.
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During Saturday's summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalise bilateral exchanges in all sectors, reiterating an agreement announced last month to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.
China, he said, is willing to continue communication with South Korea on maintaining stability, promoting peace talks, and preventing war on the peninsula.
The training comes as Trump concludes his five-country Asia tour, meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday and attending the 50 anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Seoul and Washington have recently carried out a series of drills to show off their military heft in response to the North's saber-rattling, such as its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 and a series of missile launches.
During Saturday's summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalize bilateral exchanges in all sectors, Yoon added, repeating what was said in the agreement announced last month when the two countries agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a US anti-missile system. Kim has threatened to hit Guam, an incorporated United States pacific territory.
In the statement, Seoul stated that the THAAD deployment is exclusively for defense against North Korea, while China reiterated its opposition to the system's presence in South Korea.
Trump offers to mediate on South China Sea
The disputes are expected to get the spotlight at the summit, along with the North Korean nuclear threat and terrorism. Duterte said earlier in the week that he planned to ask China to make clear its intentions in the South China Sea.