U.S. sends aircraft carrier to South Korea after attack by North
SEOUL — A U.S. aircraft carrier group set off for Korean waters on Wednesday, a day after North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island, in a move likely to enrage Pyongyang and unsettle its ally, China.
South Korea said the bodies of two civilians were found on the island after Tuesday’s attack, which is likely to stir up more resentment in the country against its prickly neighbor.
The nuclear-powered USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left a naval base south of Tokyo and would join exercises with South Korea from Sunday to the following Wednesday, U.S. officials in Seoul said.
President Barack Obama had earlier pledged to “stand shoulder to shoulder” with South Korea .
U.S. Forces Korea said the exercise had been planned well before Tuesday’s attack.
“This exercise is defensive in nature,” U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement. “While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates … our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.”