Korea to conduct joint naval drill amid tensions with N. Korea

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"The Korean-American relationship is very important, and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the USA and the Republic of Korea", he said.

The U.S. and South Korean navies will conduct joint maritime training next week with the participation of the USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) announced on Friday.

South Korea sees that as an important measure of the USA commitment to the longstanding alliance between the two allies who fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Aircraft shooting stars and planets are visible from the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan as it transits the Luzon Strait
Korea to conduct joint naval drill amid tensions with N. Korea

The US sailors have engaged in various activities in South Korea, including culture experience programs, a South Korean defense source said.

The fleet said that the Maritime Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (MCSOFEX) would "promote communications, interoperability, and partnership in the 7th Fleet area of operations".

It's a "regular, joint and combined exercise to counter North Korea's maritime threats and sharpen the interoperability of South Korea and the US", said Vice Admiral Jung Jin-seop, Commander of the South Korean Navy's Operations.

The exercise will provide a visible and coordinated engagement for the U.S. - ROK alliance.

The USS Michigan, the world's biggest nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub, arrived at a naval base in Busan, South Korea carrying 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Washington has in recent days attempted to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang by deploying strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula.

The nuclear-powered submarine is one of the world's largest, measuring 170 meters (560 feet) long and weighing more than 18,000 tons.

It was the second port call of the US submarine to the South Korean port city.

A United States nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine arrived in South Korea last weekend as part of its regional deployment, the United States military announced Wednesday.

The smaller USS Tucson, which is capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles, made a port call last Saturday at the USA base in Chinhae.