A U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea on Saturday as tensions with its northern counterpart have spiked in recent weeks, The Associated Press reported.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group arrived in the Korean peninsula for joint military drills with South Korea and Japan. The carrier’s arrival comes amid increasing tensions between North and South Korea in recent weeks, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s new agreement with Russia, which was finalized Wednesday, according to the AP.

The arrival of the carrier demonstrates the U.S.’ commitment to its allies and a “stern willingness to respond to advancing North Korean threats,” the South Korean navy told the AP in a statement on Saturday. Rear Admiral. Christopher Alexander, commander of the U.S. operation, said that the demonstrations aimed to showcase joint-ally capability and “ensure we are ready to respond to any crisis and contingency.”

The U.S. has bolstered its defenses with South Korea and Japan in recent times, given the seemingly increasing threat from North Korea, according to the AP. Kim signed a new security agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, promising a mutual defense system between the two countries in the event of an incursion, according to the AP.

“We have been taking this quite seriously,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Thursday. “And I will say it’s one of the reasons why we have been prioritizing strengthening our ties with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific throughout this administration, including through the historic trilateral agreement we had with the Republic of Korea and Japan, through AUKUS, through other work because of the potential for deepening cooperation between these two countries.”

North Korea and Russia’s relationship has grown closer since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, essentially alienating the West.

“The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today provides, among other things, for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this agreement,” Putin said during a visit to North Korea last week, per Reuters. “In connection with this, Russia does not exclude for itself the development of military-technical cooperation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

North Korean forces have also violated border agreements with South Korea in recent weeks. North Korean soldiers crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) three times in June — most recently on Friday — prompting South Korean forces to fire warning shots in response, according to Time.

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