— -- The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is now in the Sea of Japan, a U.S. official confirmed, amid heightened tensions with North Korea.
According to the official, the Reagan is expected to conduct operations with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Sea of Japan as early as Wednesday.
The Reagan had been in its home port of Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay as it underwent scheduled long-term maintenance beginning in January.
The Vinson deployed to the western Pacific on Jan. 5 to cover for the Reagan. The Vinson received a 30-day extension in April and will likely return to its home port of San Diego in June.
The Vinson arrived in the waters off the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula on April 29.
Its deployment to the Sea of Japan in early April created international confusion after a U.S. Navy press release left the impression that the carrier strike group was deploying immediately. Instead, the carrier participated in previously scheduled exercises with the Australian navy before heading north toward the Korean Peninsula.