USS Reagan Expected to Be Deployed to Korea

October 1, 2017 Updated: October 2, 2017

The United States is expected to deploy aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan to waters near the Korean peninsula this month for a joint military exercise with South Korea’s Navy, according to South Korean Yonhap News Agency.

“We are in consultations (with the U.S.) on a plan for the aircraft strike group led by the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan to operate in the East Sea around Oct. 15,” a South Korean defense official told the agency Sunday on condition of anonymity.

The Reagan will likely be accompanied by several other warships such as an Aegis destroyer, a guided-missile cruiser and a nuclear-powered submarine, Yonhap News reported.

The United States and South Korea will perform joint drills involving detecting, tracking, and intercepting the rogue regime’s ballistic missiles. They will also conduct drills on anti-submarine warfare training, according to the official.

The official date of Reagan’s arrival has not been confirmed yet, according to a U.S Forces Korea (USFK) official, but the joint military drills are still expected to take place

“It’s likely to hold the combined training around Oct. 20. The exact schedule has not been set, depending on the conditions. And then it will likely make a port call in Busan,” he said.

News of the drills came as President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he told the top U.S. diplomat not to waste his time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump wrote on Twitter, using his nickname for Kim.

Trump’s comment came the day after Tillerson disclosed that the United States was directly communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue.

“Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Trump said.

Tillerson said during a trip to China on Saturday that the United States was probing North Korea to see whether it is interested in dialogue and that it had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

This was the first time the Trump administration acknowledged it was in direct communication with Pyongyang.

The disclosure came as Tillerson expressed hope for reducing tensions with North Korea, which is fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.