USA and Korea navies to conduct joint maritime counter special operations exercise

The nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan approaches a naval base in Busan South Korea amid North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations

Cmdr. Chad Hardt, commanding officer of the Tucson, said the deployment gives the Navy an "opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the US and the Republic of Korea".

The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was expected to arrive at South Korea in the near future as the South Korean navy announced the joint maritime drills with the U.S. navy next week.

The South Korean and United States navies will kick off high-profile joint drills off the coast of the Korean peninsula next week, the allies announced on Friday.

USS Ronald Reagan
CC0Approach of USS Ronald Reagan's Task Force to Korean Peninsula Opens Room for Provocations- Moscow

The US sailors have engaged in various activities in South Korea, including culture experience programs, a South Korean defense source said.

South Korea will field a Sejong the Great-class destroyer, P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft, F-15k, FA-18 and A-10 fighter jets, as well as Lynx and AW-159 Wild Cat naval choppers.

A second South Korean official who spoke anonymously said US forces are "irregularly" being deployed to the peninsula to participate in drills and joint training, and without disclosing deployment ahead of time, according to Yonhap. The US Navy said in a statement that the drill is created to promote "communications, interoperability, and partnership" between the two militaries.

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Washington has agreed to deploy so-called strategic assets in and around South Korea on a more regular basis to provide better deterrence against the North.

The USS Michigan, the world's biggest nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub, arrived at a naval base in Busan, South Korea carrying 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It was the second port call of the USA submarine to the South Korean port city.

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The deployment of US bombers, submarines and aircraft carriers to the peninsula always infuriates the North, which considers it a sign of aggression and signal of preparations for an invasion.

"It is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, surveillance, and reconnaissance".

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