U.S. Navy Conducting Operations Off Korea After Missile Launch
The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was conducting operations after two North Korean missile launches in recent weeks.
In response to North Korea's recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch, the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet is conducting flights over the Yellow Sea, the body of water between South Korea and China.
The pair of North Korean missile launches, which took place on February 27 and March 5, violated several UN Security Council resolutions and seriously threatened security in the region.
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has significantly increased the pace and scale of ballistic missile launches since September 2021. The United States strongly condemns these launches, to include the two intercontinental ballistic missile tests,” a statement issued by the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet said.
North Korea’s ballistic missile capabilities are slowly but surely growing in sophistication and lethality.
The Navy’s statement also said that “as a demonstration of our resolve and commitment to our regional allies, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command conducted a carrier-based air demonstration in the Yellow Sea.”
“This demonstration was carried out in international airspace by 4th and 5th generation aircraft from the USS Abraham Lincoln, along with regionally-based U.S. Air Force aircraft, and is in addition to previously announced increases in ISR collection in the Yellow Sea and enhanced regional ballistic missile defense posture on the Korean peninsula.”
The flight demonstration involved U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II fighters and U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets. Both groups of aircraft took off from the USS Abraham Lincoln and flew through international airspace over the Yellow Sea. Unspecified “regionally-based” U.S. aircraft also joined in the sortie.
Although the eyes of the world are focused on Ukraine and the events in Eastern Europe, Asia remains both a potential hotspot and a region that is incredibly important for the United States’ long-term interests. And the Navy’s Seventh fleet seems to agree.
“We have made clear our growing concern over the significant increase in DPRK’s missile testing, and we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the United States and our allies,” the Seventh Fleet added.
Despite the danger posed by North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear ambitions, the Seventh Fleet made sure to reassure both South Korea and Japan.
“We remain in close coordination with our allies and partners to address the threats posed by the DPRK. Our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad.”
Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and defense writer with the National Interest. A graduate of UCLA, he also holds a Master of Public Policy and lives in Berlin. He covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society for both print and radio. Follow him on Twitter @calebmlarson.