US commanders stress 'ironclad' commitment to defend SKorea (Report)



U.S. naval commanders have reiterated Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to defend South Korea against North Korean threats as an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier visited a South Korean port following a joint naval drill.

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Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of Naval Forces Korea, said aboard the USS Ronald Reagan on Saturday that the drills enhanced the allies’ ability to coordinate combine operations.

The five-day drills that ended Friday involved fighter jets, helicopters and 40 naval ships and submarines from the countries.

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North Korea has accelerated its nuclear weapons and missile tests in recent months and also flew ballistic missiles over Japan.

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The drills came ahead of President Donald Trump’s first official visit to Asia next month that’s likely to be overshadowed by tensions with North Korea.