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U.S. carrier patrols off Korean peninsula in warning to Pyongyang

U.S. carrier patrols off Korean peninsula in warning to Pyongyang
From Reuters - October 19, 2017

ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN, Sea of Japan (Reuters) - The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, patrolled in waters east of the Korean peninsula on Thursday, in a show of sea and air power designed to warn off North Korea from any military action.

The U.S. Navys biggest warship in Asia, with a crew of 5,000 sailors, sailed around 100 miles (160.93 km), launching almost 90 F-18 Super Hornet sorties from its deck, in sight of South Korean islands.

It is conducting drills with the South Korean navy involving 40 warships deployed in a line stretching from the Yellow Sea west of the peninsula into the Sea of Japan.

The dangerous and aggressive behavior by North Korea concerns everybody in the world, Rear Admiral Marc Dalton, commander of the Reagans strike group, said in the carriers hangar as war planes taxied on the flight deck above.

We have made it clear with this exercise, and many others, that we are ready to defend the Republic of Korea.

The Reagans presence in the region, coupled with recent military pressure by Washington on Pyongyang, including B1-B strategic bomber flights over the Korean peninsula, comes ahead of President Donald Trumps first official visit to Asia, set to start in Japan on Nov. 5, with South Korea to follow.

North Korea has slammed the warship gathering as a rehearsal for war. It comes as senior Japanese, South Korean and U.S. diplomats meet in Seoul to discuss a diplomatic way forward backed up by U.N. sanctions.

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