The United States Navy is sending an aircraft carrier strike group to South Korea. The move is a not-so-subtle way to tell North Korea the U.S. military is ready to back its allies.
The USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group will be in South Korean waters by the end of the week.
After that, the U.S. and South Korean navies will conduct joint military exercises. In a statement from the South Korean military, the exercises between the U.S. and South Korea will “strengthen their military preparedness as well as demonstrate the strong will of the South Korea-U.S. alliance for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
It’s the first time the U.S. has sent a carrier strike group to the region since 2017, when tensions between then-President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un had reached a fever-pitch.
Tensions cooled for a time, but it appears that time is over. North Korea has launched a record number of missiles in 2022 and according to intelligence reports is preparing its seventh test of a nuclear weapon.
Kim said he’ll never give up his nukes and recently passed a new law which orders an immediate nuclear counterstrike if his country is attacked by hostile forces.
South Korea doesn’t have nukes of its own and relies on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” for protection. The U.S. has about 28,000 troops in South Korea. The U.S. and South Korea vowed an “overwhelming and decisive response” if North Korea launches a nuclear attack.