Amid rising tensions with Pyongyang, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that American forces are "locked and loaded" to respond to an attack by North Korea. While the U.S. military presence in South Korea is well placed defensively, any offensive strike against the North would require the deployment of a huge number of military assets, and the Pentagon has confirmed that no such deployment has taken place.
Around 23,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea and nearly 40,000 more are stationed in Japan. The following infographic provides an overview of the key U.S. military bases in the region that would prove indispensable in any conflict with North Korea.
Notable installations include Osan and Kunsan Air Bases in South Korea, where American A-10 and F-16 aircraft are permanently based. Yokosuka in Japan is home to the only permanently forward-deployed U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan. The carrier strike group and its escorting destroyer group are some of the most potent U.S. military assets in the region.
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