The USS Milius arrived on the island this Tuesday. It is one of the most modern ships capable of launching guided missiles. It will be anchored at the Yokosuka naval base and its mission is to protect the area from possible North Korean attacks
The arrival of the Milius in Yokosuka comes three weeks before there is an unprecedented meeting in Singapore between the US president and the North Korean leader.
The show of force is a reminder of the military pressure that can be exerted on North Korea, as the United States seeks to persuade it to abandon its nuclear weapons and its ballistic missile program.
The Milius “will support security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by providing enhanced missile defence capabilities as a defence platform for ballistic missiles,” the US Navy said in a statement.
The reception of the Milius at the Yokosuka pier, which is the headquarters of the Seventh Fleet of the United States, comes after doubts were raised about whether the Trump-Kim meeting is still going on.
North Korea said it was reconsidering the summit after suspending separate talks with South Korea in a protest over US-South Korea aerial combat exercises known as Max Thunder.
North Korea said it would move away from dialogue if the United States insisted that it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal, which it says it needs to defend itself against US aggression.
Trump warned that failure to reach a denuclearization agreement could cause Kim to end his days as Libyan dictator Muammar Khadafi…
The deployment of Milius in Japan was delayed almost a year, so it could undergo improvements in its Aegis air defence system to increase its ability to detect and target missiles.
Armed with missiles designed to fire warheads, Milius will be part of a naval destruction force that would be the first line of defence for the US against any long-range ballistic missile fired by North Korea.
It joins two other ships in the Seventh Fleet with similar improvements and recovers the fleet’s destructive unit with full power after two other US warships in the region were damaged in collisions with commercial ships last year.