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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
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 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 US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of 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 Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
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.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs