WASHINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon on Monday announced aircraft carrier USS George Washington will visit South Korea this week, and participate in joint naval exercises in the coming months.
The 97,000-ton massive warship will make a port visit to Busan on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula from July 21-25, and will be accompanied by three destroyers from its strike group. They include USS McCampbell and USS John S. McCain, which will visit Busan, and USS Lassen, which will visit Chinhae.
The visit is considered to be a show of force, as George Washington commanding officer Capt. David Lausman said in a written statement the U.S. Navy's "robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region" is "a testament to the strength of our alliance and our constant readiness to defend the Republic of Korea."
On the same day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in South Korea for a visit which will see the first "2-plus-2 Talks" between the two nations involving Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their South Korean counterparts. They're expected to finalize details for a series of military exercises to be conducted over the next several months, officials said