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U.S. and South Korea to Hold Largest Naval Exercise Since 2017

USS Ronald Reagan, a U.S. Navy Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, departs from the South Korean Fleet Command in Busan, Monday, for combined drills with the South Korean Navy. The two allies have begun their biggest naval exercise in five years in response to North Korea's intensifying nuclear threat. Yonhap
USS Ronald Reagan, a U.S. Navy Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, departs from the South Korean Fleet Command in Busan, Monday, for combined drills with the South Korean Navy. The two allies have begun their biggest naval exercise in five years in response to North Korea’s intensifying nuclear threat. Yonhap

South Korea and the United States started their biggest combined naval exercise involving a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier near the peninsula since 2017, a day after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile in its latest military provocation.

According to the Ministry of Defense and Navy, Monday, the allies will mobilize more than 20 vessels including the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class supercarrier of the U.S. Navy, as well as key South Korean warships, such as the 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Seoae Ryu Sung-ryong and the 4,400-ton Munmu the Great destroyer, for the four-day drills.

Other participating maritime assets include the nuclear-powered USS Annapolis submarine, USS Chancellorsville, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and USS Benfold, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

Formidable air force and army weapons including F/A-18E Super Hornets, P-3 and P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft, AH-64E Apache helicopters and South Korea’s most advanced fighter jets ― F-15K and KF-16 ― will also take part in the East Sea training exercise.

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