July 19th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

U.S. sends carrier to South Korea

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington

The United States is sending the aircraft carrier USS George Washington to South Korea this week in a display of "the strength of our alliance and our constant readiness to defend the Republic of Korea," the ship's commander said Monday.

The visit comes after months of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula after the sinking of a South Korean warship in a torpedo attack in March. A multinational inquiry found North Korea responsible for the attack on the corvette Cheonan, in which 46 South Korean sailors were killed. North Korea has denied any connection with the attack and said it is the victim of an international conspiracy.

Earlier this month, the United Nations formally denounced the sinking of the Cheonan, but did not specifically mention North Korea.

In anticipation of the U.S. announcement, Pyongyang at the weekend said the presence of the carrier would be a "reckless provocation," according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency. It said the U.S. and South Korea were trying to save face after suffering a "diplomatic defeat" in the United Nations.

Two U.S. destroyers will also join the George Washington for its call in the port of Busan. A third destroyer will visit Chinhae, U.S. Forces Korea said. The four-day port call begins Wednesday.

"The U.S. Navy maintains a robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region and the people of the Republic of Korea are our good friends and allies," George Washington commanding officer Capt. David Lausman said in a statement Monday.

The 97,000-ton George Washington, based in Yokosuka, Japan, is the only U.S. carrier whose home port is outside the United States.

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Filed under: Military • South Korea
soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. KIM JON ILL

    I will not tolerate your impeeding comments. The United Nations will apoligize to the DRNK now or we will vaporize you to the point of no return! Your insipidiss provacative and offensive view will only bring a frightful death to you all, so please stop, pretty please.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. KIM JON ILL

    I think the tea party and the NAACP are biggots and should be torchered to the utmost demise of the futilitous morons who denounce our very right to live the way the DRNK.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. netninja

    ahh I love coming to the comments section more ignorance about many things which a lot of people here have never served. Everyone is an arm chair general. People spouting off about taking out NK. I have an idea, why don't you grab a rifle and go stand on the DMZ, then you can spout off about attacking North Korea. I bet most of you have never even left the Good ol USA. WWII is just something that happened in the history books to some of you.
    Pathetic uninformed people spouting off about subjects they know nothing about. Go read a damn book. Or better yet jump on an airplane and go see for yourself. You have a tyrant who is starving his own people and has the military brainwashed into thinking he is the grand poobah of the universe. That little runt will burn the entire peninsula down before he gives up his throne.
    Free Education in the United States and the amount of ignorance is staggering!

    July 20, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      What a radical post , the truth. I read it for the humor.

      July 20, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. mmi16

    Speak softly and carry a big stick.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Larry Evans

    From what I can gather, South Korea is reasonably capable of taking care of itself, with or without our help. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/rok/intro.htm

    July 20, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kad

    William Granson, you said, "America DOES NOT start wars or conflicts. We are expected to back up these countries against dictators and the like. We also have treaties that we must fulfill. We do not break our treaties folks."

    I'm pretty sure Gulf War 2 was voluntary. All the reasons stated for going into Iraq were later proven to be nothing more than lies. I'm pretty sure funding the Contras in Nicaragua was voluntary – a group or mercenaries with little regard for life. I'm pretty sure invading the Phillipines was voluntary.

    All big powers will start a few wars. The U.S. though, does benefit in that most of the big wars it has participated in were to help others, but please, take off the rose-colored glasses. No country is perfect.

    ---------

    That said, an aircraft carrier group sent to the port of an allied nation is merely a tap on the shoulder to everyone else, to remind them that there are many assets the U.S. has that can be used, IF necessary, and to reiterate to allies the point that the U.S. is still around, supporting its friends. Reports of the U.S. being stretched thin are greatly exaggerated, considering it has been conducting two wars with a peace time economy. The economics I'll leave for another discussion, but the U.S. hasn't even begun to use its potential power.

    An old real politic maxim is "Don't look at intentions, look at capabilities". The U.S. still has the capability to whip the North Korean dictatorship faster than the Chinese can react. And rather helpfully, those who have proven most loyal (or to bark the right words on command) have congregated in Pongyang, where only the party loyal are allowed to live. The gradual fracturing of NK governance over large areas is becoming apparent (interestingly, in areas closest to China), and all that would be needed is a little push.

    It is only what to do with millions of starving and uneducated people afterwards that has kept this farce of North Korea being a 'country' from ending.

    July 20, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    • rabbid

      20 million hungry and uneducated people? Sounds like another Afghanistan to me. I hope US could pull this one off more successfully.

      July 20, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. tushchaser

    Bomb N. Korea w/ KILLER BEES. BZZZZZZZZZZZ

    July 20, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. BadBoy

    Bankrupt country soon will not be able to afford those. LOLLOL. China will not keep funding the insolvent yankees to have them shadowing their sea waters. America power is waning. Long live China

    July 20, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • trusty

      China's spending 19 trillion <_< dollar's on infra structure including 15,000 mile's of expressway modeled after the autobon and 12,000 mile's of hispeed bullet train rail there commin out of the dark age's for sure. but aquireing debt like the U S to do it

      July 20, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. polymerguy

    North Korea talks a big talk, not because they are strong, but because China is their ally. And China IS a strong ally, make no mistake, but China will come to see them as a liability if NK maintains their current posture and acting so recklessly. I can't believe that NK has gotten away with sinking a SK ship this long.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. keith

    I'm American/Korean and all the stuff that NK does needs to end! If you watch all the stories of the atrocities that is committed there, it would make you cry. I know i do.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gast747

    N. Korea is like a guy with choped-off arms 'n' legs, all N. Korea can do is annoy everybody a lot.
    (Sorry for comparing you guys to N. Korea)

    July 20, 2010 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chief_K

    This is not such a big deal...7th Fleet Carrier Task Group does this all the time. Relax folks.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Don Keesho

    What alot of people don't know is that every year the Ulchi Focus Lens Exercise is held peninsula-wide on the ROK, and includes both US and ROK forces participating together in the defense of their country. Chances are the USS GW is being deployed for that very reason and nothing more. The Stars & Stripes newspaper usually covers it.

    July 20, 2010 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. AM2 (AW)

    Oddy, do as u do best in the Air Force and sit your fat a** down as the real air force (Naval Air Force) handles the big boy work. I would pay to see u try and target a ANY Naval ship=) Good day to you sir.

    July 20, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. brad

    I'll be honest. I due to rotate back from S Korea to the States in 2 weeks. Id really rather a war not start until after I get to my next base. Then we can do whatever needs to be done.

    July 20, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
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