South Korea and the United States conducted a large-scale joint maritime exercise involving an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier for the first time in more than four years.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Saturday, the Navies of the two allies carried out a combined exercise in international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa for three days from Thursday.
It marks the first time in four years and seven months since November 2017 that the Navies of South Korea and the United States held their joint exercise.
The South Korean fleet that participated in the exercise included the 14-thousand-500-ton Marado amphibious landing ship, the 76-hundred-ton Sejong the Great destroyer, and the 44-hundred-ton Munmu the Great destroyer.
From the United States, four warships were mobilized including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the cruiser USS Antietam, and the Aegis-equipped USS Benfold.
The JCS said in a statement that the exercise involved air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine, and maritime interdiction operations.
It added that the drill consolidated the allies’ determination to sternly respond to any North Korean provocations, while demonstrating the U.S. commitment to provide extended deterrence.