News / Asia

US-Korean Exercise Focuses on Anti-Submarine Warfare, Air Defenses

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs Busan, Republic of Korea, 25 July 2010
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs Busan, Republic of Korea, 25 July 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Steve Herman's on the scene report from the USS George Washington

The largest joint military exercise by the United States and South Korea in years is underway in the Sea of Japan.  These war games were called in response to North Korea's sinking of the South Korean navy ship, Cheonan, an incident that killed 46 sailors in March. 

Throughout the day, on calm seas and under clear skies, F-18 Hornet fighter jets and other aircraft were catapulted from the flight deck of this nuclear-powered carrier.

About 200 aircraft are participating in the four-day drill, known as Invincible Spirit.  Some took part in live fire exercises.  For the first time, an exercise here also includes four of the U.S. Air Force's most advanced fighters, F-22 Raptors.

In the sea are 20 American and South Korean naval vessels, advancing no closer than 200-kilometers south of the maritime boundary with North Korea in the eastern sea.  

In the Command Direction Center of the aircraft carrier, U.S. Navy Commander Peter Walczak says the exercise is similar to what routinely occurs on the carrier, except for the additional component of cross-training with South Korean forces.   A key component in the drill is detecting enemy submarines and defending against them.  

North Korea's threat to unleash a nuclear attack in response to the joint war games, Commander Walczak says, is not causing undue alarm for the U.S. 7th Fleet.

"The only extra precaution is that, maybe, were more observant to what is going on in the area.  A little more sensitive to intel reports, what have you.  The ship itself, the airplane flying, the schedule, it is pretty much what we do with standards operations.  Our alert posture is not necessarily any higher than any other time during normal operations," he said. 

The carrier's strike group is under the command of Rear Admiral Dan Cloyd.  He calls the current exercise, "purely defensive in nature" and says there's no reason for North Korea to be provocative.

"Our intent is to improve defense capabilities in areas such as anti-submarine warfare, air defense and anti-surface warfare," Cloyd said. "Our intent is not to provoke reactions from any nation, be it North Korea, or any other here in the Western Pacific region."

North Korea denies responsibility for the sinking of the Cheonan in the Yellow Sea on March 26.  The incident has escalated tension on the Korean peninsula, which, on Tuesday, marks the 57th anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War.  The two sides have yet to sign a peace treaty.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs