South Korea drills begin with Ronald Reagan, an American aircraft carrier
This is the largest deployment of US nuclear-capable assets’ yet to North Korea.
The USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, has arrived in South Korea ahead of joint military exercises. These are seen as a sign of strength amid increasing North Korean threats.
On Friday, the Ronald Reagan and ships of its accompanying strike force docked at Busan’s naval base.
Washington’s most important deployment to date is part of a renewed push to increase the number of nuclear-capable US “strategic assets” in the region. This will help to deter North Korea.
In the days ahead, joint military drills will involve a US aircraft carrier. This is the first such drill since 2017 when three US aircraft carriers were sent to the region including the Reagan. These drills were in response to North Korean missile and nuclear tests.
North Korea condemned previous US military deployments, joint drills, and other US actions as war rehearsals.
Reporting from the Ronald Reagan flight deck, it was stated that the purpose of the joint drills had been to show “the resolve of these allied in the face of renewed North Korean menaces”.
“This is a way to show the strength of the alliance against what the US, South Korea, and Japan consider increased threats from North Korea,” McBride stated that North Korea is always angry at these exercises.
He said that in recent years, joint military exercises have been reduced to allow for “summit diplomacy” to be conducted to try and get North Koreans to drop their nuclear weapons.
He said, “They haven’t done that.”
McBride stated that the North will likely use the drills to justify their position that they must keep their nuclear weapons, which they consider a threat to their survival, at all cost.
On Friday, the South Korean navy stated that it’s combined training with the Reagan war group was intended to increase the military readiness of the allies and show the “firm resolve of the Korea-US alliance to ensure peace and stability on Korea’s Peninsula”.
Seoul and Washington are reviving large-scale military drills that they had canceled or reduced in previous years to support diplomatic efforts between Pyongyang and Washington.
After attending the Tokyo state funeral of Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese Prime Minister, the North Korean threat will be on Kamala Harris’s agenda.
After North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said to Pyongyang’s parliament that he will never give up his nuclear weapons and missiles to counter what he sees as US hostility toward North Korea, the aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea.
A new law was also passed by North Korea that established its nuclear power status and allowed the use of nuclear weapons in preemptive situations where it or its leaders are under threat.
Sung Kim, the special representative of the Biden administration for North Korea, met in Seoul with Kim Gunn, his South Korean counterpart. They expressed serious concern over North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal, as outlined in the new law.
Diplomats reiterated the US commitment to South Korea’s defense in the event of a nuke war using all of its military capabilities, even nuclear.
Allies maintained their long-held assessment that North Korea is preparing to test its nuclear weapons, and they discussed “stern” countermeasures.
North Korea increased its weapons testing at a record rate in 2022. It launched more than 30 missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles. This is as it exploits the UN Security Council’s deepening divide over Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
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