News / Asia

USS George Washington Leads Joint Maneuvers With S. Korea

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet lands the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington during joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea in the Yellow Sea, southwest of Seoul, June 24, 2012.A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet lands the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington during joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea in the Yellow Sea, southwest of Seoul, June 24, 2012.
x
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet lands the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington during joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea in the Yellow Sea, southwest of Seoul, June 24, 2012.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet lands the deck of U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington during joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea in the Yellow Sea, southwest of Seoul, June 24, 2012.
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, Yellow Sea - In a show of force that South Korea's military says is meant as a warning to North Korea, a U.S. naval carrier strike group is conducting maritime maneuvers with South Korea off the coast of the tense peninsula.

The USS George Washington is leading its carrier strike group, part of a flotilla of 10 warships and submarines, off the west coast of the Korean peninsula. Also participating in this three-day exercise, which ends Monday, are hundreds of combat aircraft. In all, 8,000 military personnel of the United States and South Korea are involved.

The tailhook of an incoming U.S. Navy F-18 fighter jet is grabbed by an arresting wire on the flight deck of the George Washington in international waters, about 200 kilometers south of the disputed maritime border between the two Koreas.

For hours at a time planes are landing and being catapulted off the 330-meter-long carrier.

A F-18 fighter jet landing on the USS George Washington in the Yellow Sea:




South Korea's military is characterizing this and other current exercises as containing a potent message to North Korea. To paraphrase that message: Pyongyang, this is what you will face if you dare to carry out another act of aggression.

Both North Korean and Chinese officials have expressed concern about a U.S. aircraft carrier returning to these waters, warning that the joint naval exercise threatens the region's peace and stability.

But the commanding officer of the USS George Washington, Captain David Lausman, says the presence of his carrier's strike group here is a routine opportunity to improve coordination with South Korea's navy.

“The only point of this exercise right now for the U.S. and Republic of Korea: we are working together," he said. "The invitation is to do this with every country that we meet in international waters.”

And, Lausman says, that invitation includes China.

With such a show of force underway by the U.S. and South Korean navies - including destroyers, frigates, fighter jets, early warning aircraft and submarines - Pyongyang and China have limited their responses to rhetoric.

  • An F-18 fighter jet's tailhook is grabbed by an arresting wire on the flight deck of the USS George Washington in the Yellow Sea, June 24, 2012. (VOA/S. Herman)
  • A close-up look at the nose of an F-18 fighter jet in the expansive hangar bay of the USS George Washington, June 24, 2012. (VOA/S. Herman)
  • Fighter jets on the deck of the USS George Washington during joint manuevers with South Korea's navy in the Yellow Sea, June 24, 2012. (VOA/S. Herman)
  • An E-2 "Hawkeye" early warning/battle management aircraft lumbers onto the wet deck of the USS George Washington in the Yellow Sea, June 24, 2012. (VOA/S. Herman)
  • Crew members of the USS George Washington on the navigation bridge steer the aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea, June 24, 2012. (VOA/S. Herman)
  • VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reporting from the windy flight deck of the USS George Washington as an F-18 fighter jet prepares to take off in the Yellow Sea, June 24, 2012.


While U.S. Navy officers are keeping silent on the scenario for this unnamed exercise, their South Korean counterparts indicate it simulates searching for and destroying North Korean submarines and tracking a long-range missile launch from the North.

Such a launch was conducted on April 13. What Pyongyang described as a peaceful attempt to place a observation satellite into orbit was widely seen as a test of ballistic missile technology meant to give it the capability of delivering a nuclear warhead across the Pacific.  The rocket broke up minutes after launch and its parts fell into waters close to where these naval maneuvers are now being held.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs