The U.S.-South Korea military drills come after North Korea declared its nuclear program “irreversible.”
A U.S. aircraft carrier will visit South Korea later this week for joint military exercises for the first time since 2018 amid growing concerns more than North Korea nuclear posture.
The USS Ronald Reagan, the aircraft carrier leading the strike group of small ships, will arrive in the port city of Busan on Friday, the South Korean navy said on Monday.
“Through the joint exercise, the navies of the two countries plan to strengthen their military preparedness and demonstrate the ROK-US alliance’s firm resolve for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” the South Korean navy said in a statement.
Earlier this month, North Korea Passed a law allowing it to conduct a preventive nuclear attack and declared its nuclear-armed state status “irreversible”.
The country conducted record weapons tests this year, firing dozens of ballistic rockets, including the first ICBM within five years.
Last week, the U.S. and South Korean governments issued a joint statement expressing concern about what North Korea called “escalating and destabilizing information related to the use of nuclear weapons.”
“Both sides commit to continue their efforts to use all elements of both countries’ national power to strengthen the alliance’s deterrence posture,” the statement said.
“The United States reaffirms its firm and unwavering commitment to take full advantage of its military capabilityInclude nuclear, conventional, missile defense, and other advanced non-nuclear capabilities to provide South Korea with extended deterrence [the Republic of Korea/South Korea]. “
South Korea does not have nuclear weapons, but it falls under what Washington calls its “nuclear umbrella” — a U.S. pledge to do everything possible to defend its allies in the event of a nuclear attack.
Last month, the United States and South Korea held their largest conventional joint military exercise in years.
“Maintaining peace on the Korean peninsula is based on our tight security posture,” South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol said at the time.
Former US President Donald Trump direct talk With his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un in office, diplomacy between the two countries has stalled.
In a joint statement following the first meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un in 2018, the countries said North Korea was committed to “working towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
But that promise never materialized, aimed at ending the country’s nuclear weapons program.
North Korea conducted its first nuclear weapons test in 2006, violating the international ban on nuclear tests. Since then, United Nations Security Council Multiple resolutions were passed unanimously imposing sanctions on the country’s nuclear program.
Pyongyang denounced previous U.S. military deployments and joint exercises as a rehearsal for war and proof of Washington and Seoul’s hostile policies.