The Navy sent a guided-missile destroyer into Russian-claimed waters in the Sea of Japan in what it called a "freedom of navigation" operation on Wednesday.
Nor did the Navy leave any ambiguity about why the USS McCampbell made the journey. By a press release, the Navy stated that the maneuver was a means "to problem Russia's extreme maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms and lawful makes use of-of the ocean loved by America and different nations", NBC Information reported. It stressed that Moscow is swung to the space which exceeds a distance of 12 miles from the coast, as defined by global law.
The US Navy has not conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the area since 1987 during the height of the Cold War, a naval source told CNN.
"These operations demonstrate that the United States will fly, swim and act wherever permitted by worldwide law".
Russia and the U.S. are now at odds over the fate of the 1987 INF Treaty and recent Russian aggression against Ukraine.
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The Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet is headquartered in the eastern port city of Vladivostok, located in Peter the Great Bay, the largest gulf in the East Sea/Sea of Japan.
Also on Wednesday, CNN reported that the U.S. has begun making the necessary preparations to sail a warship into the Black Sea as a possible response to Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors following a clash in the Kerch Strait.
"Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a unsafe escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity", Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon told CNN on Thursday. He said the latest U.S. operation in the Sea of Japan may indicate increasing United States concern about Russia's posturing in the Pacific. Under the rules of the treaty, countries that do not have a coastline on the Black Sea are required to provide Turkey with at least 15 days' notice prior to transiting the straits. Under global maritime law, national sovereignty over water ends at 12 nautical miles. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the USA will suspend its obligations under the treaty in 60 days, and he accused Russian Federation of "cheating" on the deal.
Anonymous US officials told CNN the move was a response to last month's incident between Russian coast guard ships and three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.