The USS Milius has arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan to "support security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by bringing enhanced missile defense capabilities," according to a statement by the US Navy.
One of the most advanced warships of the US Navy, the Milius is thought to be part of the US's first line of defense against a potential ballistic missile attack by North Korea.
The vehicle's deployment comes ahead of high-level talks in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for June 12.
Aegis-equipped destroyer USS Milius arrives at Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture as US Navy looks to rebound after losing two ships in deadly accidents last year. pic.twitter.com/MWzg1wwsUm— Jesse Johnson ジェシージョンソン (@jljzen) 22 мая 2018 г.
On May 16, North Korean First Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan made it clear that Pyongyang would reconsider its upcoming meeting with President Trump over provocative statements by US high-ranking officials, most notably John Bolton, who proposed a scheme of "abandoning nuclear weapons first, compensating afterwards" in the talks with North Korea.
Earlier, North Korea canceled ministerial-level talks with Seoul in a move that was followed by Kim Kye-gwan's announcement that Pyongyang might cancel the Trump-Kim summit if Washington continued its hostile anti-Pyongyang policy.
Fresh frictions in US and South Korean diplomatic relations with Pyongyang emerged just weeks after a historic meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea on April 27, when Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in signed the Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification on the Korean Peninsula.
The document stipulates the two Koreas sticking to a nuclear-free peninsula and efforts to formally wrap up the Korean War.