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Second US aircraft carrier moves towards North Korea

AGENCIES
Published : May 20, 2017, 2:28 am IST
Updated : May 20, 2017, 2:29 am IST

The carrier would hold a variety of training exercises but focus on certifying its ability to safely launch and recover aircraft, the Navy said.

USS Ronald Reagan
 USS Ronald Reagan

Washington: The US Navy is moving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula amid heightened tensions in the region, two defence officials said on Friday.

The move comes after North Korea on Sunday test-fired what analysts say was its longest-range rocket yet as it accelerates efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.

The USS Ronald Reagan departed for the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday after completing a maintenance period and sea trials in its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, according to the Navy. It will conduct dual-carrier training exercises with the USS Carl Vinson.

“Coming out of a long in-port maintenance period, we have to ensure that Ronald Reagan and the remainder of the strike group are integrated properly as we move forward,” Rear Admiral Charles Williams said.

The carrier would hold a variety of training exercises but focus on certifying its ability to safely launch and recover aircraft, the Navy said.

Defence officials would not comment on how long the two carriers would be deployed in the Korean peninsula. However, the Reagan is expected to replace the Vinson. The 1,092-foot Reagan, a Nimitz-class carrier, has a crew of 4,539 and is equipped with approximately 60 aircraft.        

Tags: us navy, north korea, nuclear, uss ronald reagan