A U.S. Navy carrier strike group composed of 7,000 sailors and Marines arrived Tuesday in South Korea's largest port city as a show of military might amid rising tensions with North Korea, which has been increasing its test launches of short- and long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The USS Nimitz nuclear-powered carrier led Carrier Strike Group 11 into Busan, South Korea, a day after the strike group trained with the South Korean Navy in international waters south of the southern island of Jeju.
The drills are part of the two-weeklong Ssangyong Exercise in and around the Korean Peninsula, the largest U.S.-South Korean maritime drill in five years. Stars & Stripes, citing South Korea's Ministry of National Defense, reported 30 ships and 70 aircraft, including FA-18 fighters and E-2 Hawkeye early warning aircraft, and roughly 50 amphibious assault vessels, are scheduled to participate in the exercises through Monday.
The Korean Times reported that North Korea on Monday claimed it fired tactical ballistic missiles loaded with simulated nuclear warheads following a series of earlier weapons tests, including that of an underwater nuclear attack drone.
The Nimitz's arrival in Busan is its first in 10 years and comes six months after a visit by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Two days before arriving, the Nimitz and destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Decatur conducted anti-submarine and air defense drills with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Stars & Stripes reported.
In a press briefing aboard the Nimitz on Monday, Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander of the carrier strike group, talked about the allies' readiness to deal with North Korean threats, The Korean Times reported.
"I'm not threatened or worried about North Korea," he said, noting the U.S. has "deployable strategic assets at the ready every day."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.