US aircraft carrier to visit S. Korea amid N. Korean threats

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.S. aircraft carrier is to visit South Korea this week for its first joint training with South Korean warships in five years, officials said

Monday, in an apparent show of force against increasing North Korean nuclear threats. The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and its battle group will arrive at a

southeastern South Korean naval base on Friday for a combined training meant to boost the allies' military readiness and to show "the firm resolve by the Korea-U.S. alliance for

the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” the South Korean navy said in a statement. It would be the first such joint drills involving a U.S. aircraft

carrier near the peninsula since 2017, when the U.S. sent three aircraft carriers including the Reagan for naval drills with South Korea in response to North Korean nuclear and

missile tests, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry. The carrier’s arrival comes after North Korea recently passed a new law designed to authorize the preemptive

use of nuclear weapons in certain conditions, in a move that apparently shows its increasingly aggressive nuclear doctrine. Earlier this year, the North test-launched a slew of

nuclear-capable ballistic missiles capable of reaching both the U.S. mainland and South Korea. Some experts say the North Korean moves clearly suggest it’s not interested in

returning to denuclearization talks until the United States and others recognize it as a nuclear state. They say North Korea needs such a recognition for arms control negotiations

with its rivals and to get sanctions relief and other concessions while maintaining some of its nuclear weapons.