The USS Ronald Reagan sailed right into a South Korean port Saturday following week-long joint naval exercises that North Korea brands a “rehearsal for invasion.”
US Ronald Reagan Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of Naval Forces Korea, said aboard the nuclear- powered aircraft carrier that that the drills enhanced the allies’ capability to coordinate operations.
According to Fox News, the five-day drills that ended Friday involved fighter jets, helicopters and 40 naval ships and submarines from both countries training for potential North Korean aggression. Within an apparent show of force against North Korea, the United States also sent many of its advanced level warplanes, including four F-22 and F-35 fighter jets and two B-1B long-range bombers, for an air show and exhibition in Seoul that began on Tuesday. “The objective of those exercises and operations are allow the combined defense of the Republic of Korea and also have them ready throughout,” Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, U.S. Commander of Carrier Strike Group Five, said, according to Reuters. “We had no interaction with any North Korean forces at any point during this exercise,” Reuters quoted Dalton as adding.
See also Breaking News~North Korea In Secret Meeting With Allies In Response To Trump’s Threat
The Ronald Reagan and its own strike group of ships docked in Busan as local South Koreans greeted the sailors in traditional dress, Star and Stripes. There was also a big sign saying “U.S. troops go home” and an accompanying song greeted the sailors at the naval base’s front gate, the paper reported. Jeong Jun-ho, 15, of Busan, jumped out of his family’s car to view the Ronald Reagan pull in to port. “I’m scared about this; I don’t like war,” he told Stars and Stripes. The drills came ahead of President Donald Trump’s first official trip to Asia the following month that’s likely to be overshadowed by tensions with North Korea. North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Saturday that the most recent naval drills have driven the problem of the Korean Peninsula to a “touch-and-go situation” and accused the allies of “getting frantic with the move to start a nuclear war.”