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U.S. aircraft carrier to take part in S. Korean drills in mid-Oct.

All Headlines 10:23 September 11, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States plans to dispatch a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to South Korea next month in a show of force to deter further military provocations by North Korea following its latest nuclear test, a military official here said Sunday.

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the flagship of the Yokosuka, Japan-based Carrier Strike Group Five of the U.S. Navy, will sail to South Korea's Yellow and South Seas to participate in a joint naval exercise with South Korea, slated for Oct. 10-15, the official said.

"The USS Ronald Reagan will take part in the combined maritime exercise between the U.S. and South Korean militaries to be carried out in the western and southern seas," the official noted.

The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) (Yonhap file photo provided by U.S. Department of Defense)

The exercise will focus on training the allies' naval forces on joint precision attacks on North Korea's key military facilities and the regime's leadership that would be launched in the event of a war with the communist country.

Nicknamed a floating air base, the vessel is capable of carrying some 80 combat fighters and aircraft, as well as about 5,400 crewmen.

Powered by two nuclear reactors, the USS Ronald Reagan is part of powerful deterrence assets the U.S. maintains against North Korea's military threats.

Other warships under the Carrier Strike Group Five will accompany the USS Ronald Reagan to the drills, the official said, including the USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54), USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), USS Stethem (DDG-63) and USS Barry (DDG-52) destroyers.

The forthcoming deployment will serve as the U.S.' military warning against North Korea, which conducted its fifth nuclear test Friday in defiance of the allies' and the international community's calls for denuclearization.

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) (AP-Yonhap file photo)

The official said the U.S. is also planning to deploy a slew of other strategic military assets to South Korea, including the B-2 stealth nuclear bomber, down the road in a show of military might against North Korea.

"Both countries' militaries will further improve their capabilities to destroy North Korea's core military facilities in the event of an emergency as the fifth nuclear test made North Korean nuclear threats a reality," the military official said.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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