British submarine arrives in Busan ahead of aircraft carrier’s stopover

HMS Artful, a nuclear submarine accompanying the British Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, was docked at a naval base in Busan on Thursday. (Yonhap)

BUSAN / SEOUL – A British nuclear-powered submarine accompanying the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in the southern port city of Busan, the South Korean Navy said Thursday.

The submarine HMS Artful docked at the Naval Operations Command port in Busan early Wednesday before the aircraft carrier‘s stopover later this month, Navy officials said.

The submarine plans to examine its equipment and load ammunition. Its crew members are passing COVID-19 tests, they said.

“We will implement anti-COVID-19 measures during their stay in close cooperation with the health authorities. No joint activity with our navy is planned,” Defense Ministry spokesman Boo Seung-chan said. during a regular press briefing.

He also said South Korea and Britain were coordinating details of the planned stopover for HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The 64,000-ton Queen Elizabeth and her strike group embarked on a seven-month world tour in May.

As part of Britain’s efforts to strengthen its involvement in the Asia-Pacific region, the fleet has conducted joint exercises with India and Singapore and called on the Pacific island of Guam. After visiting Busan, the aircraft carrier is expected to visit Japan in September.

Britain also plans to permanently assign two offshore patrol vessels to the region later this year.

North Korea last week called the carrier strike group’s deployment a provocation that would escalate tensions in Asia-Pacific. (Yonhap)

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