After Kim-Putin Deal, US Dispatches Carrier Strike Group

Theodore Roosevelt will take part in exercises with South Korea, Japan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2024 12:40 PM CDT
After Kim-Putin Deal, US Dispatches Carrier Strike Group
An F-18 fighter aircraft sits Saturday in the hanger of the Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, anchored in Busan Naval Base in Busan, South Korea.   (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

A nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier arrived Saturday in South Korea for a three-way exercise involving Japan for stepped-up military training to cope with North Korean threats, which have escalated following the announcement of a security pact with Russia. The arrival of the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group in Busan came a day after South Korea summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The exercise that is expected to start this month, the AP reports.

US Rear Adm. Christopher Alexander, commander of Carrier Strike Group Nine, said the exercise is aimed at sharpening tactical proficiency of ships and improving interoperability among the countries' navies "to ensure we are ready to respond to any crisis and contingency." South Korea's navy said in a statement that the arrival of the carrier demonstrates the allies' "stern willingness to respond to advancing North Korean threats." The visit comes seven months after another aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, came to South Korea in a show of strength against the North.

The Roosevelt strike group also participated in a three-way exercise with South Korean and Japanese naval forces in April in the disputed East China Sea, where worries about China's territorial claims are rising, per the AP. In the face of growing North Korean threats, the US, South Korea, and Japan have expanded their combined training and boosted the visibility of strategic US military assets in the region. The US and South Korea also have been updating their nuclear deterrence strategies, with Seoul seeking stronger assurances that Washington would swiftly and decisively use its nuclear capabilities to defend its ally from a North Korean nuclear attack. (More US military stories.)

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