USS Carl Vinson in open-ended mission near Korea: official

SEOUL-- A high-profile U.S. naval strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, is staying near the Korean Peninsula on an open-ended mission, a defense official here said Tuesday.

The aircraft carrier arrived in Korean waters late last month as a show of force against North Korea.

It's widely expected to be replaced by the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which is homeported in Japan and preparing to resume its operations after months of regular maintenance.

"Joint drills between South Korea and the U.S. (involving the Vinson) are under way," Cdr. Jang Wook, a spokesman for the South Korean Navy, told reporters, adding the closing date has not yet been set.

He would not elaborate on whether the North's latest ballistic missile test has affected the schedule.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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