A US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on Friday for the first time in about four years, set to join other military vessels in a show of force intended to send a message to North Korea, officials reported.
USS Ronald Reagan and ships from its accompanying strike group docked at a naval base in the southern port city of Busan.
The carrier’s arrival marks the most significant deployment yet under a new push to have more US “strategic assets” operate in the area to deter North Korea.
Rear Admiral Michael Donnelly, strike group commander, told reporters aboard the ship that the visit had been long planned and was designed to build relations with South Korean allies and boost interoperability between the navies.
The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arriving this morning at a naval base in the South Korean city of Busan. First visit by a US carrier since 2018, and what officials say is a warning to North Korea pic.twitter.com/gdCS4PNmK2— Josh Smith (@joshjonsmith) September 22, 2022
Questions have risen over the role the roughly 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea might play if conflict erupts over Taiwan.
Japan-based US carrier RONALD REAGAN CVN76, cruiser CHANCELLORSVILLE CG62 and destroyer BARRY DDG52 arrived at Busan, Rep of #Korea 23 Sept. Destroyer BENFOLD DDG65 also arrived at Chinhae ROK. 4 yrs since Ronnie was in the ROK, largely due to the pandemic https://t.co/grUIkPZeGi pic.twitter.com/2UOmiT6Hsb— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) September 23, 2022