USS Ronald Reagan Arrives In Busan As Kim And Putin Exchange Messages
In a demonstration of strength against North Korea – as Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin exchange messages on Thursday marking 75 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries – a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea the same day.
The arrival of the USS Ronald Reagan is expected to enrage the North, which views the deployment of such a powerful US military asset as a major security threat. It came to Busan after participating in a trilateral South Korean-US-Japanese Maritime exercise earlier this week.
Kim’s Russia Trip To Meet Putin In Focus
The carrier is to stay in Busan until next Monday as part of an agreement to enhance “regular visibility” of US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula in response to Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear programme, according to an earlier South Korean Defence Ministry statement.
The USS Ronald Reagan’s arrival comes as concerns grow over North Korea pushing to get sophisticated weapons technologies from Russia in exchange for supplying ammunitions to refill Russia’s stores exhausted by its months-long brutal war with Ukraine.
A number of experts suspect Kim would want Moscow’s help to build more reliable weapons systems targeting South Korea and the US. Concerns flared last month when the North Korean leader visited Russia’s Far East to meet Putin.
Warning Against Speculated Weapons Transfer Deal
In his Thursday message, Kim expressed his satisfaction over “an exchange of candid and comprehensive opinions” with Putin during his Russia trip, while highlighting a strong belief that bilateral relations between the two countries will develop onto a new level.
For his part, Putin said he was satisfied with the fact that bilateral relations continue to positively develop, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Meanwhile, Washington and Seoul have warned against the speculated weapons transfer deal.