South Korea, US Navy stage drill as warning to North

Illustration: USS Spruance is one of three US Navy destroyers deployed in support of maritime security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Photo: US Navy

In response to recent North Korean provocations, the U.S. and Republic of Korea navies (ROKN) joined forces to stage a naval drill East of the Korean Peninsula and send the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “a strong message of unified resolve against continuing acts of aggression”.

On September 26, U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) joined ROKN Aegis destroyers, submarines, anti-submarine helicopters, and U.S. and ROKN P-3 patrol aircraft in the operation that highlighted the unified naval force capabilities in defense of the Republic of Korea and region from surface, subsurface, and ballistic missile threats.

“This operation showcases the unwavering strength and resolve of the U.S. and ROK navies,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Task Force 78. “We work side-by-side with our ROK partners every day; we are by their side today at sea, and we will remain by their side to defend against North Korea’s unprovoked acts of aggression.”

“Our ROK-US alliance will counter the North Korean nuclear development and SLBM threats with determination,” said Vice Adm. Lee, Ki-sik, commander of the Republic of Korea Fleet.

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