U.S. aircraft carrier to visit S. Korea for joint drills next week

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) — American aircraft carrier USS George Washington is due at South Korea’s southern port city of Busan next week to participate in joint naval drills as part of their routine training, a military source in Seoul said Monday.

The nuclear-powered 97,000-ton supercarrier, forward deployed to Japan’s Yokosuka as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet, is expected to carry out joint drills with the South Korean Navy in the East Sea, the source said.

The ship will arrive in Busan this weekend and carry out maritime training exercises with South Korean warships and Aegis destroyers for two or three days next week, he said.

“The training is expected to include aircraft carrier maneuver, anti-submarine drills and maritime training,” the source said, speaking under anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to the media. “It is a routine training conducted two or three times when a U.S. carrier makes a port call here.”

   North Korea has condemned the allies’ joint drills as a prelude to war. In March, Pyongyang threatened to strike Seoul and the continental U.S. when the two nations’ forces conducted their annual drills involving stealth bombers, stealth jets and aircraft carriers.

The two Koreas technically remain at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.