A US aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, has arrived in Busan, South Korea’s largest port, as a deterrent to North Korea amid an expected satellite launch by the communist regime. This marks the third Navy carrier to visit the peninsula this year as part of an agreement between the US and South Korea to ensure the regular visibility of American military assets in the country. The Carl Vinson, which is homeported in San Diego, is capable of carrying around 5,000 sailors and 70 aircraft.
The deployment of the aircraft carrier signifies a combined defense posture against North Korea, as stated by the Ministry of Defense. Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello, commander of Carrier Strike Group 1, emphasized the importance of cooperation between the US and South Korean navies for maintaining peace and security in Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik recently held an annual military conference, where they agreed to strengthen their alliance and increase the frequency and intensity of US deployments to South Korea in response to North Korean threats. The USS Ronald Reagan also visited Busan earlier in October for joint drills with the South Korean and Japanese navies.
As North Korea is expected to attempt to launch a satellite into orbit, the USS Carl Vinson’s arrival is significant. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned North Korea’s launch plans, emphasizing that it would violate the United Nations Security Council resolution if it uses ballistic missile technology. North Korea previously attempted satellite launches on May 31 and Aug. 31, both of which failed, and has conducted 21 ballistic missile tests this year.