The U.S. Navy will send its new combat ship tailored for Asia’s shallow coastal waters to join military drills with South Korea that North Korea calls a prelude for invasion.
Carrying a helicopter, a vertical takeoff unmanned aerial vehicle, a 57 millimeter gun and 21 missiles, the USS Fort Worth will become the first Littoral Combat Ship to take part in the annual Foal Eagle exercises starting next month off the coast of South Korea.
“The specific role that Fort Worth will play in Foal Eagle is really no different than any other Navy ship has for years,” Rear Admiral Charles Williams told reporters Tuesday in Singapore on board Fort Worth. “Fort Worth’s role will be just a normal part of that exercise,” said Williams, who is Logistics Group Western Pacific Commander.
North Korea demands the U.S. and South Korea end the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises held early each year in order to improve ties on the peninsula. The regime calls the drills preparations for war and routinely threatens to retaliate with nuclear force if its territory is violated during the exercises that the U.S. and South Korea say are defensive in nature.
Full article: U.S. deploys new combat ship in naval drills that have nervous North Korea threatening nuclear retaliation (The Vancouver Sun)