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The USS Ronald Reagan just got orders, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is not going to be happy about them.
The Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday that the Navy is moving the aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula, where it will conduct training drills with the USS Carl Vinson, according an unnamed defense official.
The joint drills carried out by the two carriers are to “detect, track and intercept the North’s ballistic missiles, in addition to anti-submarine warfare training,” the official told Yonhap.
“We are in consultations (with the U.S.) on a plan for the aircraft strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan to operate in the East Sea around Oct. 15,” Yonhap reported.
“The Reagan will likely be accompanied by several other warships belonging to the strike group, such as an Aegis destroyer, a guided-missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine,” the report continued.
A U.S. Forces Korea official said the training would occur around Oct. 20, adding that an exact schedule had not been set. The official also said that the joint drill was “prearranged” and not a response to the growing tensions with North Korea.
Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, commander of the Reagan’s strike group, told the South China Morning Post the development was to keep the military ready to defend U.S. allies as well as maintain stability in the area.
“The United States has been very clear about leveraging all options in order to get North Korea to change its path,” Dalton said.
Kim must be getting a little nervous with this latest show of military might. We will have to wait and see how he responds to a group of warships just outside his back door.