News / Asia

Pentagon Denies Plan to Send Carrier to South Korean Exercise

TEXT SIZE - +
Al Pessin

The Pentagon is denying reports from Seoul there will be a joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercise as early as next week in response to the conclusion of an international investigation that North Korea sank a South Korean ship in March.  Officials also deny that there is a plan for a U.S. aircraft carrier to be involved in any exercises off the Korean coast.

Two senior spokesmen have denied the reports.  In an e-mail, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said "no carriers are going anywhere near the Korean peninsula  anytime soon."  Morrell is in Singapore, where U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will discuss the Korean tensions with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, as well as with senior defense officials from other Asian nations.  Morrell says Gates has made no decision to send an aircraft carrier to the region, and no such decision is expected soon.

In Seoul, the defense ministry spokesman told reporters earlier that a U.S.-South Korean naval exercises will start on Monday in the Yellow Sea, near the area where the South Korean ship was sunk.  Some reports said it would involve a U.S. aircraft carrier based in Japan.  

But at the Pentagon, spokesman Bryan Whitman said that is not accurate.

"There have not been any decisions with respect to these reports I see about carrier exercises," said Bryan Whitman. "I have talked to you about the exercises that the United States is contemplating and planning with respect to the Republic of Korea.  And those are some maritime security exercises and an anti-submarine exercise that is going to take place later this month or early next month."

Whitman had previously announced those two joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercises in response to the ship sinking.  Another official says there could be a joint U.S.-South Korean announcement in Seoul on Friday to clarify exactly what exercises will be held, and when, and which ships will be involved.  

Some experts caution that if an aircraft carrier is sent it could provoke a strong reaction from North Korea.  American aircraft carriers are the largest and most capable navy ships in the world, with dozens of fighter jets and other significant firepower on board.    

Shortly before landing in Singapore Thursday evening, Secretary Gates told reporters on his plane the United States is considering additional joint exercises with South Korea, but he did not provide specifics.

"An important element this time will be to reassure the South Koreans of our support as they face these provocations and a North [Korea] that seems even more unpredictable than usual," said Robert Gates.

The international investigation concluded that a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine sank the South Korean Navy ship the Cheonan, killing 46 men on board.  North Korea has denied involvement.  

Gates had hoped to discuss the Korean tensions with Chinese officials during his trip, but China said 'no' to his plan to visit Beijing and did not even send a senior delegation to the annual Singapore conference.   

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid