Seoul, Oct 10 (EFE).- The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Thursday with its accompanying strike force, in a new display of force by Washington and Seoul against Pyongyang, the South Korean defense ministry announced.
The strike force, including the destroyer USS Shoup and the guided-missile cruiser USS Robert Smalls, will arrive at Busan, 320 kilometers (199 miles) southeast of Seoul, where it will remain for five days, the ministry said in a statement.
The deployment of the aircraft carrier strike group is aimed at “regularly increasing the visibility of US strategic assets and integrated extended deterrence through which ROK (South Korea’s official name) and the US discuss, decide, and act together,” the statement added.
Extended deterrence, the Pentagon’s commitment to help defend Seoul from attack, includes the regular rotation of US strategic assets to deter the North Korean regime’s weapons tests.
The Ronald Reagan, which was in South Korea in September last year, is the first US nuclear aircraft carrier to visit the area around the Korean peninsula since the USS Nimitz in March.
The ministry also announced that between Oct. 9 and 10, South Korean, Japanese and American ships carried out anti-piracy training and maneuvers to intercept illegal exchanges on the high seas, aimed at tightening surveillance of the ships that North Korea uses to circumvent international sanctions.
These maneuvers, carried out near the South Korean island of Jeju, are the first such drills that the three countries, which have strengthened their military alliance in recent months, have carried out in seven years.
The announcement coincides with the announcement early Tuesday by the North Korean state-run news agency KCNA that “an important report” was coming, without giving any more details.
Pyongyang is planning to launch a military spy satellite into orbit this month after two failed attempts in May and August.
Tension has escalated in the Korean peninsula after the failure of the 2019 denuclearization negotiations, with Pyongyang rejecting any offer of dialogue and carrying out a record number of missile tests, and Seoul and Washington resuming their large-scale joint maneuvers and deploying US strategic assets in the region. EFE