US aircraft carrier to visit S. Korea for drills

It will mark the first time in about five years that a US aircraft carrier visits South Korea for joint military exercises…reports Asian Lite News

An American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is scheduled to visit South Korea later this week for combined drills with the South Korean navy, the US Forces Korea (USFK) said on Monday.

The USFK said in a statement that the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group is scheduled to conduct a routine port visit to South Korea, reports Xinhua news agency.

While in port, the personnel of the strike group will have an opportunity to visit and engage with their South Korean navy partners and conduct cultural exchange with the people of South Korea, the USFK noted.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the strike group is set to arrive at a naval base in Busan, about 390 km southeast of the capital Seoul, on Friday for combined maritime drills with the South Korean navy.

“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-U.S. alliance for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” the South Korea’s Navy said in a statement.

It will mark the first time in about five years that a US aircraft carrier visits South Korea for joint military exercises.

The strike group includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS Chancellorsville guided-missile cruiser and the USS Barry Aegis-equipped destroyer.

In April USS Ronald Reagan deployed to the waters between South Korea and Japan for the first time since 2017, and conducted joint drills with Japanese forces.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported last week that the country has passed a new law declaring itself a nuclear weapons state and enshrining a right to use preemptive nuclear strikes for self-protection, a move the North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un called “irreversible”.

Washington and Seoul denounced North Korea’s first-use nuclear doctrine as “escalatory and destabilizing” and the US vowed to continue to deploy and exercise strategic assets to deter and respond to Pyongyang, it was reported.

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