A US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on Friday for the first time in nearly five years, ahead of joint exercises in a show of force against nuclear-armed North Korea.
The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan and ships from its strike group docked in the southern port city of Busan, part of a push by Seoul and Washington to have more US strategic assets operating in the region.
The hawkish president of South Korea Yoon Seok Yeolwho took office in May promised strengthen joint military exercises with the United Statesafter years of failed diplomacy with North Korea under his predecessor.
“The deployment of the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Busan demonstrates the strength of the South Korean alliance,” said a South Korean defense ministry official. AFP.
The visit is aimed at “deterrence North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats“, the official added.
Pyongyang held a record blitz weapons tests this year and earlier this month revised its nuclear legislation, enshrining the “first strike” doctrine and vowing never to give up its nuclear weapons.
The US Navy said that during its visit to South Korea, the USS Ronald Reagan was accompanied by two ships from its strike group, the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville and the destroyer USS Barry.
They will take part in joint exercises on South Korea’s east coast this month Yonhap the news agency reported, adding that the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis is also expected to participate.
WATCH: The USS Ronald Reagan and ships from its accompanying strike group have arrived at #South Korea On Friday, for the first time in four years, officials said, it will join other warships in a show of force to send a message to North Korea. pic.twitter.com/5GyXupxlU5
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) September 23, 2022
The carrier’s visit came after months of warnings from South Korean and US officials that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there is preparing to conduct another nuclear test.
The isolated regime has tested nuclear weapons six times since 2006. The latest and most powerful nuclear weapons test in 2017, which Pyongyang claimed was a hydrogen bomb, had an estimated yield of 250 kilotons.
Washington is Seoul’s key security ally and has about 28,500 troops in South Korea to defend against the North.
The two countries have long held joint exercises that they insist are purely defensive, but North Korea views them as a rehearsal for an invasion.
last month, The US and South Korea conducted the largest joint military exercises from 2018 — the resumption of large-scale exercises that were curtailed due to Covid-19 and failed diplomacy with Pyongyang.
https://www.thedefensepost.com/2022/09/23/us-aircraft-carrier-south-korea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=us-aircraft-carrier-south-korea An American aircraft carrier has arrived in South Korea to “deter” Pyongyang