The 97,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Aegis destroyers and cruisers of the Seventh U.S. Fleet are participating in annual joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises. The drills, dubbed "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle," began Monday and continue until April 30.
In time with the start, the North Korean military reportedly put coastal artillery units and naval units on the western coast north of the Northern Limit Line on special alert, and ordered other military units to maintain combat readiness.
A government source here said once the "Key Resolve" drill comes to an end on March 10, the Ronald Reagan and Yokosuka-based naval ships of the Seventh Fleet will take part in the "Foal Eagle" exercise, which continues until April 30.
The Reagan arrives at the Naval Operations Base in Busan in mid-March.
The South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command plans to brief the press on Thursday on details of the exercises.
A CFC spokesman said about a dozen observers of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission will watch the exercises to check if the two exercises are defensive and in accordance with the armistice agreement.