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US, Japan and South Korea condemn Putin and Kim Jong-un’s strategic partnership

A US Navy aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea in a show of force, as Washington, Seoul and Tokyo released a joint statement on Monday (24) condemning the deepening of military ties between North Korea and the Russia.

The nuclear-powered USS Theodore Roosevelt docked in the port of Busan on Saturday (22), ahead of trilateral exercises with South Korea and Japan in the waters near the peninsula.

The Freedom Edge exercises resulted from an agreement reached by the defense chiefs of the US, South Korea and Japan before Russian leader Vladimir Putin made his high-level trip to Pyongyang last week. But the strongly worded joint statement released on Monday by the three partners shows how seriously they view a new “strategic partnership” between North Korea and Russia made during Putin’s trip.

In addition to signing the defense agreement with Kim Jong-un, Putin also linked security on the Korean Peninsula to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, threatening to arm North Korea if South Korea provided military aid to Kiev.

The US, South Korea and Japan “condemn in the strongest possible terms the deepening of military cooperation between the DPRK and Russia,” the joint statement said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of Korea. From north.

The deepening ties between Moscow and Pyongyang and the mutual defense pact “should be of great concern to anyone with an interest in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, defending the global non-proliferation regime, and supporting the people of Ukraine in its defense, in its freedom and independence against Russia’s brutal aggression,” he stated.

The joint statement comes after all three partners separately expressed deep concerns about the treaty, including South Korea condemning it and recalling Russia’s ambassador on Friday, a rare diplomatic step that illustrates heightened tensions between Seoul and Moscow.

The carrier’s presence in Busan is just the latest in a series of US military moves to show Washington’s “firm” commitment to its own treaty ally in South Korea.

Earlier this month, U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers participated in a military exercise on the peninsula, the first time in seven years that long-range attack aircraft dropped live munitions on South Korea.

And last week, a US Air Force AC-130 fighter also carried out live-fire strikes at the same range where the B-1s dropped their bombs.

Joint exercises with the United States have been a source of frustration and anger for North Korea, which has pursued its illegal nuclear weapons and missile testing program under Kim, who has found common cause with Putin.

Russia, which has previously supported sanctions on North Korea, used its veto power at the United Nations earlier this year to shield Pyongyang from further scrutiny, and Putin has often supported Kim’s narrative.

“This confrontational policy by the US to expand its military infrastructure in the sub-region has been accompanied by significant increases in the intensity and scale of military exercises involving South Korea and Japan that are hostile to North Korea,” Putin said. in Pyongyang last Wednesday.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Busan marks the second time a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has visited South Korea in seven months. The USS Carl Vinson called in Busan last November.

The Roosevelt, with about 5,000 people on board, carries an air wing of more than 60 aircraft, including F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters.

The presence of the Roosevelt and its supporting strike group of warships “demonstrates the solid joint defense posture and resolute will of the South Korea-U.S. alliance to respond to the sophisticated threat from North Korea,” said a statement from the South Korean military.

Neither the US nor South Korea have provided details or exact dates for the upcoming Freedom Edge exercise.

But the three have been working together more closely, including recent exercises involving forces from all three countries.

The Pentagon on Sunday gave a clue about the timing of the Freedom Edge exercise, releasing a statement saying that the Roosevelt would depart the Indo-Pacific next week and head to the Middle East to replace the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower .

The Eisenhower left the region on Saturday after more than seven months of operations that included strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen to protect commercial shipping in the region from the Iran-backed group’s missiles and drones.

The movement of the Roosevelt from the western Pacific temporarily leaves only one US aircraft carrier in the region, the USS Ronald Reagan, which is transported to Yokosuka, Japan.

Source: CNN Brasil

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