US Navy deploys second aircraft carrier to North Korea's doorstep

Posted In: News Date:May 19th, 2017

The US Navy is moving a second aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula to take part in training exercises days after North Korea conducted a “successful” ballistic missile test.

The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan departed for the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday after undergoing a maintenance period and sea trials in its base in Japan, CNN reported.

The Nimitz-class carrier will join the USS Carl Vinson in the region for dual training exercises in a show of force amid rising tensions with Pyongyang.

Together the two ships have a total of 90 F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters.

"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 Adm. Charles Williams said in a press release.

Once in the region, the Reagan will conduct a range of exercises but primarily focus on certifying its ability to safely launch and recover aircraft, the Navy said.

On Sunday, North Korea test-launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile that many experts believe could be its most advanced yet. The missile flew some 700km (435 miles), reaching an altitude of 2,000km and landing in the sea west of Japan.