Sun, 03 Dec 2023

First US aircraft carrier since 2018 will visit South Korea

Robert Besser
22 Sep 2022, 11:32 GMT+10

SEOUL, South Korea: A U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, will visit South Korea for the first time in some four years to take part in joint drills, as part of efforts to deploy U.S. nuclear-capable "strategic assets" to deter North Korean military aggression.

In a statement, the South Korean Navy said the USS Ronald Reagan will arrive at a naval base in the southern port city of Busan later this week.

"By conducting combined drills, the Navies of the two countries plan to strengthen their military readiness and demonstrate the firm resolve of the South Korea-US alliance for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.

Previous U.S. military deployments and joint drills with South Korea that aim to rehearse for war have been denounced by North Korea.

Due to diplomatic efforts to engage with North Korea, in 2018 Seoul and Washington scaled back many of their joint military activities, which were further curtailed until this year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To warn North Korea, which recently conducted a record number of missile tests, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol resumed many joint exercises and other displays of military activities.

Last week, the U.S. and South Korea denounced North Korea's first- use nuclear doctrine unveiled this month, describing it as "escalatory and destabilizing."

Washington also pledged to continue deploying strategic assets to deter and respond to Pyongyang's threats.

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