The USS Ronald Reagan and its strike force ships arrived Friday at a naval base in the port city of Busan, about 200 miles from Seoul.
According to Reuters, the arrival of the US aircraft carrier is the largest deployment yet in a new push to sail US nuclear-capable “strategic assets” into the region to deter Pyongyang.
The arrival of the USS Ronald Reagan is also the first time in about four years that a US aircraft carrier has visited South Korea.
Yoon Suk-yeol, who was elected South Korean president by about 250,000 votes, has pushed for more joint exercises since taking office in May.
He had previously suggested that relations between Seoul and Pyongyang could continue to deteriorate.
JUST IN: Russian soldiers ridiculed by Ukraine for mess left in Izyum homes
In his victory speech, Yoon said, “I will sternly respond to North Korea’s illegal and unreasonable acts in accordance with principles, but I will always leave the door open for South-North dialogue.”
President Yoon also met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday as the two men agreed on the need to improve relations between Seoul and Tokyo.
The meeting, which took place in New York as world leaders gathered ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, was the first between the leaders of the respective nations since 2019.
Yoon’s deputy spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung said, “The two leaders agreed on the need to improve relations by resolving outstanding issues, for which they agreed to expedite diplomatic talks while continuing the discussions between them”.
However, observers suggest North Korea appears to be preparing to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017.
Pyongyang recently condemned joint drills in the region as war rehearsals.