- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A U.S. warship entered the Sea of Japan in a direct challenge to Russian naval activity in the area, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

According to multiple news outlets, a Pacific Fleet spokesperson said the ship, a guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “freedom of navigation operation” Wednesday.

Nor did the Navy leave any ambiguity about why the USS McCampbell made the journey.

The U.S. vessel “sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other Nations,” Navy Lt. Rachel McMarr, said in a statement.

Despite the name of the bay, the U.S. does not recognize Russia’s claims that exceed the 12 miles out from the coastline that international law provides.

The last time the U.S. conducted a “freedom of navigation operation” in that area, not far from Vladivostok, home of the Russian Pacific Fleet, was in 1987, when the country making such a territorial-waters claim was the Soviet Union.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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