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U.S. aircraft carrier to stay near Korean Peninsula until Trump’s visit to S. Korea

U.S. aircraft carrier to stay near Korean Peninsula until Trump’s visit to S. Korea

Posted October. 19, 2017 07:57,   

Updated October. 19, 2017 08:35


After a drill in the East Sea, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan will be stationed near the Korean Peninsula until U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit in November. In the meantime, B-1B strategic bombers deployed in Guam will continue to be ready for a take-off.

According to sources at the United States Forces in Korea on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Defense has decided to beef up its military readiness of the Korean Peninsula against North Korea ahead of Trump’s visit on November 7 and 8. In line with this, the USS Ronald Reagan will be stationed in Korean waters after a joint drill with the South Korean Navy is completed. The USS Ronald Reagan has been deployed in the East Sea since Monday.

The joint military exercise between U.S. and South Korean Navy forces will end on Friday. The drill mobilizes about 40 vessels to counter infiltration from the East Sea or West Sea by North Korean special operations units or occupation of northwest islands by North Korea’s raid. The USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine carrying special operations teams, also joined the drill. The USS Michigan is armed with nearly 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles to carry a decapitation strike against Pyongyang if a crisis breaks out. “While Trump stays in South Korea, the USS Ronald Reagan, stationed near the Korean Peninsula, will be in charge of surveillance and counterattack of North Korea’s provocations,” said other sources.

In other words, Washington thinks that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unpredictable enough to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile at a normal angle to prove its capability to attack the U.S. mainland to Trump and U.S. military leadership. In this context, U.S. and South Korean forces will strengthen their surveillance operations until Trump comes to Seoul to monitor North Korea’s transporter erector launchers and missile launchers near the military demarcation line.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com