Seoul, September 23 (QNA) - The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (front) and the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer Barry (rear) arrived today at a naval base in Busan, southeastern South Korea, for their first combined drills with the South Korean Navy near the peninsula in five years, as the allies are striving to reinforce deterrence against evolving North Korean military threats, South Korean News Agency (Yonhap) reported.
A South Korean defense ministry official said the deployment of the carrier USS Ronald Reagan to Busan demonstrates the strength of the South Korea-US alliance, adding that the visit aims to "deter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
Accompanying the USS Ronald Reagan on a visit to South Korea are two ships of its strike group, the USS Chancellorsville, the guided-missile cruiser, and the USS Barry, the guided missile destroyer.
The units will take part in joint exercises on the east coast of South Korea this month, and the nuclear-powered submarine USS Annapolis is also expected to participate, according to the Korean Yonhap News Agency.
The aircraft carrier's visit comes months after South Korean and US officials warned that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was preparing to conduct another nuclear test.
North Korea has tested nuclear weapons six times since 2006. The last and most powerful of those tests was in 2017, when Pyongyang announced that it was a hydrogen bomb with an estimated force of 250 kilotons.
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol, who took office in May, has vowed to intensify joint military exercises with the United States after years of failed diplomacy with North Korea under his predecessor.
Pyongyang has conducted a record number of weapons tests this year, and earlier this month it amended a law allowing it to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear strike and vowed not to give up its nuclear weapons.
The United States and South Korea have long held joint exercises that they say are purely defensive, but North Korea considers them to be rehearsals for an invasion.
Last month, the United States and South Korea held their largest joint military exercise since 2018, in a resumption of large-scale exercises curtailed due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the failure of diplomacy with Pyongyang.(QNA)
23 September 2022
US Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Arrives in South Korea
General, Asian countries, Koreas
Sorry, there are no search results