South Korea Koreas Tensions
U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is escorted into Busan Naval Base in Busan, South Korea, on Friday. Photo: AP/Lee Jin-man
world

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea for joint drills

23 Comments
By KIM TONG-HYUNG and LEE JIN-MAN

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on Friday ahead of the two countries' joint military exercise that aims to show their strength against growing North Korean threats.

The joint drills will be the first involving a U.S. aircraft carrier in the region since 2017, when the U.S. sent three aircraft carriers including the Reagan for naval drills with South Korea in response to North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

The allies this year have revived their large-scale military drills that were downsized or shelved in previous years to support diplomacy with Pyongyang or because of COVID-19, responding to North Korea's resumption of major weapons testing and increasing threats of nuclear conflicts with Seoul and Washington.

The South Korean navy said the training is meant to boost the allies' military readiness and show "the firm resolve by the Korea-U.S. alliance for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

"The commitment of the U.S. carrier strike group operating in and around the peninsula illustrates our commitment to stand together and our desire and focus ensuring that we are interoperable and integrated to face any challenge or threat whenever we are required," Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander of the carrier strike group, said in a news conference.

The North Korean threat is also expected to be a key agenda when U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visits South Korea next week after attending the state funeral in Tokyo of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Reagan's arrival in South Korea comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Pyongyang's rubber-stamp parliament this month he would never abandon his nuclear weapons and missiles he needs to counter what he perceives as U.S. hostility.

North Korea also passed a new law that enshrined its status as a nuclear power and authorized the preemptive use of nuclear weapons over a broad range of scenarios where the country or its leadership comes under threat.

Sung Kim, the Biden administration's special representative for North Korea, met with South Korean counterpart Kim Gunn on Thursday in Seoul, where they expressed "serious concern" over the North's escalating nuclear doctrine spelled out in the new law, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said.

The diplomats reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend South Korea in the event of a nuclear war with the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear. The allies also maintained their months-old assessment that North Korea is gearing up to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 and discussed "stern" countermeasures to such an action, the ministry said.

North Korea has dialed up weapons testing to a record pace in 2022, launching more than 30 ballistic weapons including its intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, as it exploits a divide in the U.N. Security Council deepened over Russia's war on Ukraine.

While North Korea's ICBMs garner much of U.S. attention because they pose a potential threat to the American homeland, the North has also been expanding its arsenal of nuclear-capable, shorter-range missiles designed to evade missile defenses in South Korea.

North Korea's expanding arsenal and threats of preemptive nuclear attacks have triggered concerns in South Korea over the credibility of the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" protecting its allies in the event of war.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, a conservative who took office in May, has vowed to enhance South Korea's conventional missile capabilities and work with the Biden administration to develop more effective strategies to deter North Korean attacks.

Senior U.S. and South Korean officials met in Washington this month for discussions on the allies' deterrence strategies and issued a statement reaffirming that "any (North Korean) nuclear attack would be met with an overwhelming and decisive response." The statement said the United States reiterated "its ironclad and unwavering commitment to draw on the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear (one)" to provide extended deterrence to South Korea.

North Korea has so far rejected U.S. and South Korean calls to return to nuclear diplomacy, which have been stalled since 2019 over disagreements in exchanging the release of U.S.-led sanctions against the North and the North's disarmament steps.

North Korea has harshly criticized Yoon for continuing military exercises with the U.S. and also for letting South Korean civilian activists fly anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets and other "dirty waste" across the border by balloon, even dubiously claiming the items caused its COVID-19 outbreak.

South Korean activists have continued to launch balloons after North Korea last month warned of "deadly" retaliation, triggering concern North Korea may react with a weapons test or even border skirmishes.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, pleaded for activists to stop, citing safety reasons. Lee Hyo-jung, the ministry's spokesperson, also said Friday that South Korea was prepared to sternly respond to any North Korean retaliation over leafletting.

AP video journalist Yong Jun Chang contributed.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
Login to comment

Big guns are in town.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Ah, yes, MORE of the endless 'joint exercises' practicing the destruction of North Korea and China. just another example of Chinese and North Korean AGGRESSION. What else this floating tomb represents is the archaic mentality of U.S. naval authorities given the anti-ship capabilities now online in, at least, China's arsenal. Between hypersonic missiles and supercavitating torpedoes, a GIANT radar target such as that ship will have a 'battlefield' lifetime of, maybe, one hour. Great tools for attacking relatively defenseless peoples but in a major sea war with a major opponent, criminally suicidal for the crews. Think of the Moskva and those weren't even 'advanced' weapons. Sad to see those 5000+ young lives put in such a precarious position by incompetent and backward looking leadership.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Don't know if what @William Bjornson is saying is true but that super carrier is the dogs bollocks and looks the business.I bet the Russians and Chinese think so as well.

Many thanks to our American friends.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Yeah the Ronald Reagan is badass- just like its namesake.

For all the non US people complaining about why Korea and Japan contribute for military bases in their countries? this is just a small part of the protection that money is getting.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@bjorn

if the North Koreans & Chinese behaved themselves & stopped threatening other countries, there wouldn’t be a need for ships like this.

And I think you overestimate these country’s ability to sink it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nope WB is wrong as has been pointed out innumerable time’s before. Why else are his friends in West Taiwan busy building “floating tombs” to use his description?

Exercises serve at least two useful purposes, building interoperability between allies and sending a clear message to the slave state in the north.

Good for the activists, keep sending the balloons; freedom of expression is worth fighting for, despite the opinion of that disgrace of an ex president Moon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Golly,

If only the USN had strategic thinkers who could consider the threats to an aircraft carrier battle group as well as an embittered former Marine.

Oh wait, they do.

In fact it has people with better info, up to date tech, and better educations (and judgment, but I digress.)

So thanks WB, you can go back to ranting. The pros will take it from here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Redstorm,do you think this will deter China,Japan would be the first target of war with China what to see the effects of a nuclear strike on Japan Google Nukemap

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Nemo,the 7th fleet is under direct control of Washington DC, because of it corrupt past ,even the US do not trust their leadership Google Fat Leonard 7th Fleet

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Just the sight of this magnificent machine make me appreciate the awesome power freedom and democracy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While at it keep heading towards N. Korea nukes and OBLITIRATE them, Sir.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

apan would be the first target of war with China what to see the effects of a nuclear strike on Japan Google Nukemap

So your saying China will start a nuclear conflict and its first target will be Japan. Sounds like Japan should arm itself to the teeth and prepare to defend itself against a warmongering China.

the 7th fleet is under direct control of Washington DC, because of it corrupt past ,even the US do not trust their leadership Google Fat Leonard 7th Fleet

When Washington does not trust an officer in command they are immediately removed from duty. Your assertions are therefore complete rubbish.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

American public are only interested in the security of their own lives,not the interest of Japan,South Korea or other countries in the region,we are the ultimate decider of a military response

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I do not know why it is a priority,to demonstrate force,that will not be fruitful,when American will be waiting on Chinese ships to deliver their Christmas present,for merchant in America, Chinese cargo ships,not American military ships they worried

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yrral

always doom and gloom.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What aircraft carriers are now in the heads of inexperienced admirals who, for their entire careers, know better than to 'rock the boat', BATTLESHIPS were in 1941. A couple of notable names are Bismarck and YAMATO if, suddenly, an unprecedented need to actually study something were to strike. It's always been a great military strategy to concentrate one's major resources in a small space, for the other side. "Armies prepare to fight their last war, rather than their next war" - Anonymous And America is still stuck in WWII. Given the targeting technology available today and ~75 years of anti-aircraft carrier weapons developments, fleets (~20 per 'fleet') of smaller, fast, submersible, multipurpose, highly co-ordinated but widely distributed ships (wolfpacks?) that, collectively, equal the concentrated resources of the now highly vulnerable 'battle groups' (one tactical nuke) will probably be the next step. As it is now, most of the U.S.'s naval resources will be gone in the first hour of a REAL war along with an obscene number of young lives. And Corporate's weapon's profits are tied up in the status quo so the 'invincible' America will lose to its own archaic thinking and massive military/industrial corruption and it, too, shall pass...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Was that stupid? These big shops can be destroyed by Chinese ultra sonic ballistic missiles. China has 70+ submarines, just one torpedoed the hill of the aircraft carrier will blown up like Christmas tree!

In August that ship was coward to pass through the Taiwan Strait because Chinese naval and aerospace power was no longer like 1996!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If China is so badass like a couple of posters have said, then why haven't they done what you are sure they are capable of doing? A bully is only a bully until a badder badass punches him in the mouth. God Bless the USA!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When Washington does not trust an officer in command they are immediately removed from duty. Your assertions are therefore complete rubbish.

Officers who screw up and/or misconduct often get sent to remote commands so far off nobody will ever know what goes on there. They get removed from the 'main network' and get sent to remote commands where nobody hears from them again.

Exercises serve at least two useful purposes, building interoperability between allies and sending a clear message to the slave state in the north.

It certainly does and it's simply normal routine exercises between military allies. Xi and Kimbo can 'WAH' all they want to but that's most much they can do about it. It's in international waters. Sulk, crybabies. Sulk.

NemoSep. 23  06:27 pm JST

Golly,

If only the USN had strategic thinkers who could consider the threats to an aircraft carrier battle group as well as an embittered former Marine.

Oh wait, they do.

In fact it has people with better info, up to date tech, and better educations (and judgment, but I digress.)

A carrier battle group can wage an air + sea war all by itself. I refer to the Libya wars of 1986 and 2011, the Bosnia War, the Kosovo War, the ISIS War (mostly) and a few others. No ground forces. And they can commend it up within a minute's notice. Many of our wars are getting more advanced in that way. Also, cyberwar too.

The one biggest ugly factor is that it has resulted in wars being 'harmless' entertainment for the armchair general American public. Something to get mesmerized to the boob tube for. Yippy-yippy-yi-yi-yay and all that neanderthal crap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Korea announced they are upgrading their carriers to full 70,000 ton CATOBAR configuration and unveiled the naval fighter jet design for it.

Japan should consider upgrading its dedicated carriers to full 70,000 ton CATOBAR configuration as well.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/09/south-korea-considers-larger-aircraft-carrier-procurement/

South Korea Considers Larger Aircraft Carrier Procurement

The Republic of Korea Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Kim Seung-kyum said on September 19th that the military will consider acquiring an aircraft carrier that is larger than the current CVX design if a carrier capable fighter is developed domestically.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't know if what @William Bjornson is saying is true but that super carrier is the dogs bollocks and looks the business.I bet the Russians and Chinese think so as well.

When you read stuff like what he wrote, consider that China is expending vast amounts of their own hard earned to build the same sorts of aircraft carriers. They have a 70,000 - 80,000 ton conventional catapult launch and arrested recovery aircraft carrier in the water being fitted out in Shanghai now. If there are weapons that can sink aircraft carriers so easily, considering that it is reputed that China possesses such weapons then why would the Chinese expend so much energy and resources to build their own "floating tombs"?

The reality is much different. WWII proved that even the much smaller aircraft carriers the US Navy possessed back then took an awful lot of hits to sink. Find out how much heavy ordnance exploded on the decks of USS Forrestal in 1967 and USS Enterprise in 1969 and both ships survived. All those combat jets a modern aircraft carrier brings with it make them very hard to hit and trying to defend your own ships without your own aircraft over head is almost comically futile. I can tell Mr. Bjornson from personal experience that a big Nimitz Class is not necessarily easy to find. It is a very small thing in a very big ocean even when the carrier is not trying to hide from you. You get a hazy humid day and that thing disappears from view until you are almost on it. Five miles out knowing it was right on my nose and we could not see it in the haze.

Sure enemies have electronics but the carrier and its escorts have lots of ways to spoof those electronics and the very haze that made her so hard to find that day can also make it tough for electro-optical systems to find her. We practiced operating with the radios and radars turned off, EMCON for EMissions CONtrol, all the time. Communications are accomplished with signal lights and flags. You can operate that way for days if necessary, even conduct flight ops. Good luck finding a carrier strike group that goes EMCON under a weather system. The Chinese know this and are ardent to replicate that capability. Russia would too if they had the resources, though they never managed to figure out how catapults work while the Chinese appear to have done so.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 just one torpedoed the hill of the aircraft carrier will blown up like Christmas tree!

Take a look at how many torpedos the Japanese had to pump into the much smaller USS Yorktown at the Battle of Midway, and consider that bomb damage suffered the month before at the Battle of Coral Sea was not fully repaired and there were yard workers on board during the battle trying to fix her as she fought and you get the idea that one torpedo hit is not going to sink an American aircraft carrier. Modern US carriers have a lot of design features not in the public realm that allow them to absorb huge damage and fight.

In my own time I saw a mistake by a maintenance crew set off over a dozen A-7s and two F-14s on the forward flight deck of USS Nimitz. This was during her 1988-89 deployment. Big explosions. The automatic flight deck foaming system had the fire out in less than a minute. The wrecked aircraft were shoved over the bow at first light, the flight deck carefully cleaned and inspected and by 1000 that morning they were conducting flight ops. Replacement A-7s were bought out from a west coast base arriving a couple of days later.

Some years earlier there was a flight deck mishap on Nimitz where an S-3 landed well off centerline and hit an SH-3 which caused an even bigger fire that in turn caused a bunch of missiles to explode. Again the automatic foam system had the fire out and aside from a few shallow dents from the missiles exploding there was no damage to the ship, though quite a few aircraft were destroyed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Was that stupid? These big shops can be destroyed by Chinese ultra sonic ballistic missiles.

Lol, my dentist cleans my teeth with an ultrasonic cleaner. I think you meant hypersonic but maybe you were hyperventilating when you typed it. It is not an easy thing to hit a moving target maneuvering in the vastness of the ocean with something moving as fast as one of those hypersonic glide vehicles. They can be effective against fixed targets where the coordinates can be programmed in ahead of time and the target is not moving around. But at those kinds of speeds there is precious little time for a seeker to scan the ocean, classify what it sees (is it neutral shipping or a valid target, you don't want to hit neutral shipping), track the target and maneuver to hit it. Seekers on see so far and the faster the missile the seeker is on, the less time to complete the kill chain. The US had borderline hypersonic missiles, ALVRJ and ASAM, back in the 1970s but they never went into production. Instead Harpoon, Tomahawk and AGM-86 went into production. There are good reasons why western navies have mostly stuck to subsonic anti-ship missiles. They hit the target more reliably, can re-attack if they miss or are spoofed by electronic warfare, and when doing weaves and corkscrews two meters above the waves can be every bit as hard to track and shoot down as the fast movers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites