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Aircraft carrier Reagan leaves port to relieve Vinson strike group amid North Korea tensions

051617 Tritten Reagan carrier pic
Sailors march to man the rails on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan as the ship left Yokosuka, Japan on Tuesday. (Navy photo)

The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan left port in Japan Tuesday to resume patrols and eventually relieve the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, which was sent to the region amid rising tensions over North Korea's missile tests, according to the Navy.

The Reagan, which is permanently stationed at a Navy base outside Tokyo, had been sidelined during a long period of maintenance and was momentarily delayed from returning to duty with a carrier air wing Monday due to a repair issue, the service said.

The Vinson was ordered to cancel a port visit and head to the western Pacific for exercises with allies last month after Pyongyang defied the Trump administration with test launches that could lead to a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Vinson strike group extended its deployment by 30 days and is scheduled to return to its home port of San Diego in June, the Navy said.

The Reagan will spend the beginning of its new patrol testing and certifying its flight operations.