Seoul, March 15 (IANS) A nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan on Wednesday to join the ongoing springtime war games, according to local media reports.
The ongoing US-South Korean joint military exercises, codenamed 'Key Resolve' and 'Foal Eagle', last from March 13 to March 24 and from early March to the end of April, respectively, Xinhua news agency reported.
Seoul and Washington have claimed the annually-held war games are defensive in nature to protect from nuclear and missile threats of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), while the DPRK has denounced it as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its attendant fleet are accompanied by 24 F/A-18 fighter jets, 10 aerial tankers, 10 S-3A anti-submarine airplanes, six SH-3H anti-submarine helicopters, four EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft and four E-2 airborne early warning aircraft.
The US forces are reportedly set to mobilise other strategic assets during the joint drills, including F-35B stealth fighter jets that were deployed in the US military base in Japan in January.