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U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan joins Jeju fleet review

2018/10/11 17:38

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SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Yonhap) -- The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan joined South Korea's once-in-a-decade international fleet review in waters off the southern island of Jeju on Thursday.

The 103,600-ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the U.S. 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, was among the 15 warships from 10 foreign countries that joined the naval event designed to promote trust and cooperation among world navies.

On Friday, it is set to dock at the island's civilian-military complex port on a separate schedule for the first time since the port opened in early 2016, officials here said.

The carrier, nicknamed a floating military base, can carry dozens of aircraft and around 5,700 crewmembers.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan joins South Korea's once-in-a-decade international fleet review in waters off the southern island of Jeju on Oct. 11, 2018. (Yonhap) The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan joins South Korea's once-in-a-decade international fleet review in waters off the southern island of Jeju on Oct. 11, 2018. (Yonhap)

For the fleet review, the U.S. deployed a total of three warships, including two cruisers, Chancellorsville and Antietam.

During the review of foreign vessels, Australia's 4,270-ton frigate Melbourne appeared first, followed by Brunei's 1,600-ton patrol ship Darut Taqwa, Canada's 4,800-ton frigate Calgary and India's 5,500-ton destroyer Rana.

The vessels appeared in alphabetical order of their countries, although the American aircraft carrier came toward the end of the review due to its massive size.

Among the Korean warships were the 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Yulgok YiYi, the 4,400-ton destroyer Dae Jo Yeong, the 10,000-ton logistical support ship Soyang and the 3,200-ton destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great.

Japan decided not to participate amid a row over its Maritime Self-Defense Forces' plan to hoist the controversial Rising Sun Flag on its vessel, which is castigated in Korea as a symbol of its imperialist past. China also canceled its plan to send a 7,100-ton destroyer, citing "domestic reasons."

   sshluck@yna.co.kr

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