In joint drill, top South Korean, US military commanders visit US aircraft carrier
(MENAFN) Top South Korean and US military officials boarded the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier on Tuesday to participate in a combined naval drill in the East Sea, according to Seoul authorities, in an apparent demonstration of the allies' solidarity in the face of North Korean threats.
Gen. Kim Seung-kyum, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Paul LaCamera, Commander of the South Korea-US Combined Forces Command, toured the nuclear-powered carrier that landed here on Friday to participate in the allies' first naval maneuvers near the Korean Peninsula in five years.
The four-day drill began on Monday, amid increased worries that Pyongyang may conduct provocative acts such as a nuclear test or the deployment of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Kim and LaCamera were briefed on the ongoing exercise, for which the allies deployed more than 20 warships, including the nuclear-powered USS Annapolis submarine and significant South Korean assets like the 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Seoae Ryu Sung-ryong.
Kim emphasized the alliance's readiness to fight North Korean threats there.
"The South Korea-U.S. alliance would respond sternly to any North Korean provocations or aggression," Kim was cited by his office as asserting. "(We) would make North Korea clearly aware that should it attempt to launch a nuclear attack, its regime would be left with no scenario for survival anymore."
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