Powerful U.S. warship deployed ahead of Trump-Kim summit
The USS Milius, a guided-missile destroyer, arrived at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, on Tuesday — a move the Defense Department says brings “enhanced missile defense capabilities” to the Indo-Pacific region.
“During the past year, while homeported in San Diego, Milius was fitted with the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, upgrading its air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities,” Navy Lt. j.g. Michael Barkofski wrote last week in a Defense Department news release. “The ship then completed Combat System Ship’s Qualification trials and multiple live-fire events to perform operational testing of its new weapons technology.”
Milius left last month from San Diego. It arrived in Japan just weeks ahead of a planned summit on June 12 between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong.
On Tuesday, however, Mr. Trump, cast doubt on the timing of the summit. “It may not work out for June 12,” he said as he sat beside South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House.
“If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later,” Mr. Trump added.
Moon’s visit to Washington is taking place as the administration remains committed to pursuing its goals of complete and total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — a topic that will be up for discussion during the leader’s visit.
A news release Tuesday from the public affairs office of the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka said “maintaining the most technologically advanced ships is vital to support the United States’ commitment to the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”
The warship’s move to the region is part of the Navy’s plan to put newer and more capable units into positions there “to provide security and stability to the forward-deployed Navy,” according to the Defense Department.
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