The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), a US Navy Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, arrives at a port in the southeastern coastal city of Busan, South Korea, 23 September 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/JEON HEON-KYUN

US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea in a show of force

Seoul, Oct 12 (EFE).- The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, arrived in South Korea on Thursday in a show of force by Washington and Seoul against Pyongyang, local news agency Yonhap reported.

The aircraft carrier accompanied by its strike group, including the destroyer USS Shoup and the guided-missile cruiser USS Robert Smalls, has anchored at Busan, 320 kilometers (199 miles) southeast of Seoul, where it will remain for five days.

The deployment of the aircraft carrier strike group is aimed at “regularly increasing the visibility of US strategic assets and integrated extended deterrence through which ROK (South Korea’s official name) and the US discuss, decide, and act together,” according to a statement from South Korea’s defense ministry.

The “extended deterrence” is the Pentagon’s commitment to help defend Seoul from attack, which includes the regular rotation of US strategic assets to deter the North Korean regime’s weapons tests.

The Ronald Reagan, which was in South Korea in September last year, is the first US nuclear aircraft carrier to visit the area around the Korean peninsula since the USS Nimitz in March.

The news of the aircraft carrier came just a month after the North Korean regime unveiled its first submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles.

At the ceremony where it was presented, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emphasized the importance of updating the country’s entire naval fleet and making it capable of carrying out nuclear attacks.

Shortly after, Kim travelled to Russia, where he and President Vladimir Putin agreed to boost military cooperation.

During the trip, Kim also paid a visit to the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Pyongyang is planning to launch a military spy satellite into orbit this month after two failed attempts in May and August.

Tension has escalated on the Korean peninsula after the failure of the 2019 denuclearization negotiations, with Pyongyang rejecting any offer of dialogue and carrying out a record number of missile tests, and Seoul and Washington resuming their large-scale joint maneuvers and deploying US strategic assets in the region. EFE