A U.S. Coast Guard vessel made its first entry into South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan on Saturday for its crew to take a rest and replenish military supplies, the Navy here said.
The USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), a Legend-class maritime security cutter, arrived at the ROK Fleet Command in the city. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.
The USCGC Bertholf (Yonhap)
Last month, the ship held a joint exercise with South Korea's Coast Guard in waters off the southern island of Jeju to prevent North Korea's maritime sanctions evasions, such as illicit ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and goods.
The North's media denounced the exercise, arguing it runs counter to the ongoing peace efforts on the peninsula.
"No plan for a joint exercise is scheduled after the Bertholf's arrival in Busan," a Navy official said.
He said the crew of the vessel will do activities, including replenishing military supplies, as well as visiting cultural sites in Busan and friendly sports activities.
The 4,500-ton Bertholf left its home port of Alameda, California, with its crew of 170 in January for deployment in the Western Pacific.
After reaching Sasebo in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture in early March, it patrolled the East China Sea, keeping a lookout for illicit ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and goods by North Korea. (Yonhap)