SEOUL: A US aircraft carrier will visit South Korea this week for joint drills for the first time in about four years, officials of both countries said on Monday (Sep 19), as the allies seek to deploy US nuclear-capable “strategic assets” to deter North Korea.
USS Ronald Reagan will arrive at a naval base in the southern port city of Busan on Friday, South Korea’s Navy said in a statement.
“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-US alliance for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said.
North Korea has denounced previous US military deployments and joint drills as rehearsals for war and proof of hostile policies by Washington and Seoul.
The visit will be the first to South Korea by an American aircraft carrier since 2018. That year, the allies scaled back many of their joint military activities amid diplomatic efforts to engage with North Korea.