Top South Korean and U.S. brass have boarded the 100,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the East Sea to send a warning to North Korea.
Gen. Won In-choul, the chair of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Paul LaCamera, the chief of Combined Forces Command, met aboard the Lincoln on Thursday, a military spokesman here said.
Won and LaCamera spent five or six hours aboard the carrier, where they had discussions and met with crew. They exchanged opinions on the tactical plans of the CFC and discussed an upcoming joint naval exercise that kicks off next Monday.
The Lincoln arrived via the Tsushima Strait after leaving the East China Sea on Tuesday. It last appeared here in November 2017, when the North Korean regime's nuclear and missile provocations were at their peak.
Earlier it participated in joint drills with Japan's Self-Defense Forces. It carries about 80 aircraft including F-35C stealth fighter jets, while the carrier strike group also includes nuclear-powered mini-subs and Aegis destroyers.
Their meeting came just a day before the 110th birthday of North Korean regime founder Kim Il-sung amid fears that the North is poised to launch a fresh provocation.
But the South Korean JCS merely said that Won's visit "was not a surprise" and had been planned before. "It's customary for a senior military officer from South Korea to go aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier when it enters the country's territorial waters," the spokesman added.