"The Korean-American relationship is very important, and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the United States and the Republic of Korea", he said.
U.S. Navy units participating in the exercise include USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and USS Mustin (DDG 89).
During the visit sailors will experience the culture and history of South Korea as well as foster outstanding relations between the US Navy, Korean military and the local Busan community.
"Both the South Korean and U.S. Navy will firmly maintain a combined maritime defense posture with a strong will to immediately repulse any kind of enemy provocations to protect the Republic of Korea".
The exercise will provide a visible and coordinated engagement for the U.S. - ROK alliance. The US Navy said in a statement that the drill is created to promote "communications, interoperability, and partnership" between the two militaries.
The nuclear-powered submarine is capable of carrying about 150 Tomahawk missiles, according to Yonhap.
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A second South Korean official who spoke anonymously said US forces are "irregularly" being deployed to the peninsula to participate in drills and joint training, and without disclosing deployment ahead of time, according to Yonhap.
The 560-foot-long USS Michigan, which weighs more than 18,000 tons when submerged, is armed with tactical missiles and capable of launching strikes and supporting missions by special operation forces, a statement said.
The smaller USS Tucson, which is capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles, made a port call last Saturday at the USA base in Chinhae.
The smaller USS Tucson, which is capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles, made a port call last Saturday at the US base in Chinhae.
Two U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Tuesday night, conducting air-to-surface missile-firing drills over the Sea of Japan (known in Korea as the East Sea) and the Yellow Sea.