October 11, 2023 10:09
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group will dock in Busan on Thursday for a five-day visit. This is the second visit by a U.S. aircraft carrier this year after the USS Nimitz in March, and the Reagan also docked here in September last year.
The Defense Ministry here said Tuesday the visit "is part of the U.S.' extended deterrence commitment to further enhance the 'regular visibility' of strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance."
"Regular visibility" means a show of force through frequent deployment here of U.S. strategic assets such as nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, bombers and nuclear submarines.
The visit also aims to deter any North Korean provocations as Pyongyang forges closer ties with Moscow after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent visit to Russia and a surprise incursion by Hamas militants into Israel.
Carrier Strike Group 5, which includes Aegis destroyers and other warships, are part of the 7th Fleet headquartered at Yokosuka, Japan.
Meanwhile, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan staged a joint maritime interdiction drill and anti-piracy exercise in international waters southeast of Jeju Island on Monday and Tuesday. They practiced boarding ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction and searching for suspicious packages.
It was the first trilateral maritime interdiction drill in seven years and the first trilateral anti-piracy exercise in six years.
Participating were the Aegis destroyer KSS Yulgok Yi Yi and a Cheonji-class fast combat support ship from South Korea, the Reagan from the U.S., and a Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com