VIDEO: US Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Arrives in South Korea to Join Wargames

Sun Mar 13, 2016 17:35:34

A US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has arrived in South Korea’s largest port city to take part in joint war games amid heightened tensions and threats by North Korea to wipe out its enemies.

The carrier, which is the flagship of the USS John C. Stennis Strike Group, arrived in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, early on Sunday to join the Key Resolve military exercise.

On Saturday, US and South Korean troops staged a big amphibious landing exercise on South Korea’s east coast, storming simulated North Korean beach defenses. The drills were part of eight weeks of military maneuvers by the allies.

About 55 US marine aircraft and 30 US and South Korean ships, including the USS Bonhomme Richard and USS Boxer, took part in the assault on beaches near Pohang city, according to the US Navy.

Pyongyang condemned the assault drills, calling them “nuclear war moves” taken as preparations for an invasion.

The North’s military said it was prepared to respond “with an ultra-precision blitzkrieg strike of the Korean style.”

This year’s Key Resolve drills mark the largest of their kind as the allies step up military cooperation in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

More than 300,000 South Korean and 17,000 American troops are attending the war games in a show of military power.

On Thursday, North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un watched as his forces fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in response to the massive drills.

Kim has also ordered more nuclear tests using the miniaturized nuclear warheads, which he recently claimed the country has produced.

“The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them,” the official KCNA news agency quoted him as saying.

The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military tensions since the 1950-1953 Korean War, which ended in an armistice. No peace deal has been signed, meaning the two Koreas remain technically at war.

Tensions have escalated since the start of 2016 after the North’s nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch on February 7.

Pyongyang says the rocket launch was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit but Washington and Seoul say the move was a cover for an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

S/SH 11

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