US warship ‘ARMADA’ swoops within strike range of North Korea after massive war drills

Sunday, October 22, 2017
By Paul Martin

A STRIKE group of nuclear-capable US warships and submarines on the prowl near North Korea is “prepared for war” after carrying out large-scale war drills.

By Joshua Nevett
22nd October 2017

The flotilla of ships and submarines, led by aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, docked in South Korea on Saturday after a week of joint naval drills.

Submarines USS Tucson and USS Michigan, and 40 vessels joined the aircraft carrier and its 5,000 sailors in the South Korean port city of Busan.

The five-day drills – also involving US fighter jets and helicopters – were training for a strike against North Korea.

“This is what we have been training for,” said commander Alex Hampton, a US Navy crewman of 16 years, of the drills.

“Are we prepared for war? Absolutely. And I am confident in our abilities to execute anything that our nation command authority gives us to do.”

When naval drills of a similar scale took place in April, Trump described his strike force of warships as a “powerful armada”.

Marc Dalton, chief of the Ronald Reagan strike group, described the drills as a “routine” part of their defence partnership with South Korea.

“This port visit is the perfect ending to this regularly scheduled exercise with our Republic of Korea Navy counterparts,” he said.

He said the US commitment to defending itself and its allies is “enduring”.

“This exercise is an example of how we train with our allies in order to be ready to respond to a range of crises,” he added.

But the massive military exercises come amid heightened tensions between the US and Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian regime.

North Korean state media has branded US war drills in the region as “sabre-rattling” that could “ignite nuclear war”.

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