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Yonhap – Top S. Korean, U.S. military officers board U.S. aircraft carrier in East Sea

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) — Top South Korean and U.S. military officers on Thursday boarded a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier sailing in the East Sea, sources said, in a rare move to highlight the allies’ unity amid concerns about possible North Korean provocations.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Won In-choul and Gen. Paul LaCamera, the head of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, met aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier that arrived in the waters earlier this week in a show of America’s military might.

Their symbolic meeting came amid speculation that the North could engage in provocative acts, like another intercontinental ballistic missile launch or a nuclear test, in time for its key political events, including the 110th birthday of its late national founder Kim Il-sung on Friday.

This photo from the Facebook page of the U.S. 7th Fleet shows the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier engaging in an exercise with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force in the East Sea on April 12, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo from the Facebook page of the U.S. 7th Fleet shows the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier engaging in an exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force in the East Sea on April 12, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

On Wednesday, the U.S. 7th Fleet showed photos depicting the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier, F-35Cs, an F/A-18E Super Hornet and E-2D Hawk Eye early warning aircraft engaging in the drills with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

It marks the first such carrier maneuvers of the U.S. Navy in the East Sea since late 2017, when tensions soared due to a string of Pyongyang’s major provocations, including its sixth nuclear experiment.

In November 2017, the U.S. sent three flattops — USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt — to the East Sea operational area, called the Korea Theater of Operations (KTO), in an unprecedented display of force against North Korea.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220414011700325?section=national/defense

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