US, S. Korean navies end key exercise amid N. Korea tension

Jun 4, 2022, 5:48 AM | Updated: 6:10 am
In this photo provided by South Korea's Defense Ministry, U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS...

In this photo provided by South Korea's Defense Ministry, U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, right, and South Korea's landing platform helicopter (LPH) ship Marado, second from left, sail during a joint military exercise at an undisclosed location, Saturday, June 4, 2022. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

(South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan concluded a naval exercise with South Korea in the Philippine Sea on Saturday, the two militaries said, amid signs that North Korea is possibly preparing to conduct its first nuclear test explosion since 2017.

The three-day exercise that began Thursday in international waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa was apparently the allies’ first joint drill involving a U.S. aircraft carrier since November 2017.

The Ronald Reagan then joined the USS Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz in a rare three-carrier exercise with South Korean naval vessels during North Korea’s last provocative run in nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The latest drill came weeks after President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in a summit in Seoul vowed to upgrade defense exercises and discuss ways to for Washington to protect its ally in the face of growing North Korean threats.

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said that the exercise was aimed at strengthening the interoperability of the two navies.

On Friday, Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, Sung Kim, said Washington is “preparing for all contingencies” in close coordination with South Korea and Japan as it monitors North Korean arrangements for a possible nuclear test that could be imminent.

Kim, who was in Seoul for a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts to discuss the nuclear standoff with North Korea, said Washington assesses that the North is pressing ahead with preparations at its nuclear testing ground in the northeastern town of Punggye-ri.

The North’s next test would be its seventh since 2006 and the first since September 2017, when it claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear bomb to fit on its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since 2019 over disagreements in exchanging the release of crippling U.S.-led sanctions for the North’s disarmament steps.

North Korea has already conducted missile tests 17 times this year, including its first ICBM demonstrations in nearly five years.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on May 2, ...
Associated Press

Musk tweet joking about buying Manchester United causes stir

LONDON (AP) — Elon Musk caused a stir by tweeting that he was buying the English soccer team Manchester United — whose current owners are opposed by many fans — then saying several hours later that it was a joke. It comes as the billionaire Tesla CEO faces a legal battle in the U.S. after […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Tips to take the sting out of 50% higher car rental prices

When making your travel budget, don’t assume that lodging and airfare will be your biggest expense. Now, more than ever, rental cars are shaping up to be one of the biggest — and stubbornly high — aspects of people’s vacation budgets. While airfare and lodging prices are certainly near all-time highs, rental cars are among […]
5 hours ago
Military personnel stand next to Harpoon A-84, anti-ship missiles and AIM-120 and AIM-9 air-to-air ...
Associated Press

Taiwan, China hold opposing military drills amid tensions

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is staging military exercises to show its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing’s political control over the self-governing island, following new rounds of threatening drills from China. The exercises Wednesday off the southeastern county of Hualien follow days of Chinese missile firings and incursions into Taiwan’s sea and […]
5 hours ago
Kosovo's Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Ko...
Associated Press

EU to host Serbia-Kosovo talks in Brussels amid tensions

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Wartime rivals Serbia and Kosovo are holding high-level crisis talks on Thursday which the European Union mediators hope will de-escalate growing tensions in the Balkans where Russia has been trying to further increase its influence amid the war in Ukraine. Hopes that the rare face-to-face meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Measles outbreak in Zimbabwe kills 157 unvaccinated children

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has killed 157 children, most of whom were unvaccinated due to their family’s religious beliefs, officials said. The measles outbreak was first reported in the eastern Manicaland province in early April and has since spread to all parts of the country. At least 2,056 cases have […]
5 hours ago
A parent shops for school supplies deals at a Target store, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in North Miam...
Associated Press

Target’s profit sinks after it cut prices to clear inventory

NEW YORK (AP) — Target reported solid sales for the fiscal second quarter, but profits plunged nearly 90% after the retailer was forced to slash prices to clear unwanted inventories of clothing, home goods and other discretionary items. In early June, Target warned that it was canceling orders from suppliers and aggressively cutting prices because […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
US, S. Korean navies end key exercise amid N. Korea tension