American Aircraft Carrier Theodore Roosevelt Arrives in South Korea

Amid escalating regional tensions and global security concerns, the American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt has docked in South Korea's port city of Busan to participate in joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan

by Sededin Dedovic
American Aircraft Carrier Theodore Roosevelt Arrives in South Korea
© U.S. Navy / Getty Images

The American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Theodore Roosevelt, has arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan for joint military exercises this month with the host country and Japan, the South Korean Navy announced.

Leaders of the three nations agreed at a Camp David summit in August 2023 to hold annual military exercises and condemned China's "dangerous and aggressive behavior" in the contested South China Sea, reports Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited North Korea this week for the first time in 24 years and signed an agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which includes a promise of mutual defense.

South Korea, Japan, and the United States (USA) agreed to close security cooperation through timely consultations after Russia and North Korea signed a new security agreement this week.

South Korean and U.S.

soldiers take part in a joint military exercise at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex on August 31, 2022 in P© Handout / Getty Images

South Korea's Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul announced this after consecutive phone calls with U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa. Yonhap News Agency reports that this move followed the signing of a partnership agreement in Pyongyang between North Korea and Russia on Wednesday, promising to provide each other with military assistance without delay if attacked by any third country, according to Anadolu Agency.

The Russian-North Korean comprehensive strategic partnership agreement was signed following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. - "In response to North Korea's threats, we agreed to strengthen the strong alliance between South Korea and the USA and to enhance security cooperation with the USA and Japan.

I think it is significant that we sent a strong message in close cooperation through timely consultations with friendly countries," said South Korea's Foreign Minister Cho.

Deepening Russia-North Korea Relations

This was one of Russia's most significant moves in Asia in years.

The North Korean leader said it signifies an alliance. The visit comes seven months after the journey of another American aircraft carrier, the Carl Vinson, to South Korea, aiming to deter North Korea from its nuclear and missile program.

North Korean soldiers ride on a boat near border© Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

South Korea: Pyongyang may have delivered almost 5 million shells

Last week, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik said his country had discovered up to 10,000 shipping containers traveling from North Korea to Russia, which could contain up to 4.8 million artillery shells.

In an interview with the American media corporation Bloomberg, Wonsik said Putin would likely seek more during his visit to Pyongyang. A previous U.S. intelligence report mentioned "at least 3 million" North Korean shells delivered to Russia.

If confirmed, these deliveries would significantly benefit Russia in the war in Ukraine, where both sides have complained about a chronic shortage of shells that prevents artillery attacks. In January, the USA accused Moscow of using short-range ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to target sites in Ukraine.

The missiles fired by Russia have a range of about 550 miles (900 kilometers), according to U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby. He did not detail the types of missiles used, but a graphic shared by the White House depicted short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) KN-23 and KN-25.

Ukrainians later joined the claims that North Korean missiles were used against them, stating they had examined the remains of more than 20 North Korean missiles fired at their territory. Last month, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) declassified a report providing what they claimed was photographic evidence of downed North Korean missiles in Ukraine.

Guterres: Russia had imposed sanctions on North Korea earlier

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Russia must comply with United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea after the two countries signed a mutual defense agreement.

"There are sanctions imposed by the Security Council on North Korea," Guterres said, emphasizing that "any country's relationship with North Korea, including the Russian Federation, must fully respect those sanctions," reports Reuters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed the "Comprehensive Agreement on Strategic Partnership between the two countries" on June 19 in Pyongyang.

Comprehensive Agreement

Putin and Kim signed the document at the end of talks between the two countries' delegations with the participation of the two presidents.

The Russian leader called the previously prepared document fundamental, noting that it would form the basis of relations between Russia and North Korea for many years. Putin also stated that Moscow does not rule out the possibility of supplying weapons to other countries in response to arms deliveries to Ukraine. He mentioned that Russia reserves the right to supply weapons to North Korea.

Vladimir Putin American Japan