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The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier will arrive at a key South Korean naval base

USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to arrive in Busan this week

The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier will arrive at a key South Korean naval base later this week, Seoul's defense ministry said Tuesday, in a major show of force against North Korean threats.

Carrier Strike Group 5, which includes the aircraft carrier, the Aegis-equipped USS Shoup destroyer and other warships, will enter the naval base in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Thursday for a five-day visit, according to the ministry.

The USS Ronald Reagan last visited South Korea in September 2022 for the first time after about four years. It is the second U.S. aircraft carrier to visit the nation this year after the USS Nimitz docked in Busan in March for naval drills with South Korea.

The visit comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea unveiled a new "tactical nuclear attack" submarine early last month. It has also vowed to launch a military spy satellite again this month after two failed attempts this year.

The ministry said the carrier strike group's visit has been scheduled as part of the U.S. commitment to further enhance the "regular visibility" of strategic assets to the peninsula as outlined by their leaders in the Washington Declaration issued in April this year.

"(The visit) is a key demonstration of the U.S.' extended deterrence in action, and will become an opportunity to strengthen the combined defense posture for an immediate, overwhelming and decisive response against North Korea's continued provocations," Vice Adm. Kim Myung-soo, South Korea's Fleet Commander, was quoted as saying.

The U.S. carrier strike group took part in a two-day trilateral exercise in international waters southeast of the resort island of Jeju through Tuesday, involving South Korean and Japanese warships, the first such drills in seven years.

During its stay in Busan, the U.S. carrier strike group plans to conduct friendly exchanges with the South Korean Navy. (Yonhap)

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