US Navy strike group to move towards Korean peninsula

"US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific", Benham said, according to AFP.

The military vessels will operate in the Western Pacific rather than making previously planned port visits to Australia, it added.

"Now that the US-China summit has ended, North Korea is likely to conduct its sixth nuclear test or launch intercontinental ballistic missiles to increase the sophistication of its weapons capability", said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute in Seoul. Ahead of the meeting, Trump delivered a stern warning to both China and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, telling the Financial Times in an interview that the USA was willing to act unilaterally to counter North Korean aggression if necessary.

NBC News spoke with Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, who reveals that North Korea has already called the U.S.

U.S. Navy personnel prepare to launch an F18 fighter jet on the deck of USS Carl Vinson during a routine exercise in South China Sea, March 3, 2017.

Earlier this year, North Korea says it successfully tested a nuclear warhead.

When it comes to putting a stop to North Korea's nuclear ambition, USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson said: "The policy of strategic patience has ended".

Ahead of the meeting, North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

North Korea's provocative behavior in recent months has raised tension levels in the region and is emerging as one of the key foreign policy and defense challenges for the new Trump administration.

"That is not our objective and so the whole reasons underlying the development of a nuclear program in North Korea are simply not credible", Tillerson told the ABC program "This Week".

US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Islamic militant-controlled Syrian province of Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

Trump reportedly discussed North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping when the two met this week in Florida.

And while a USA unilateral strike on North Korea from a shorter range might be more militarily effective, it likely would endanger many civilians in South Korea, experts warn.

Trump days before meeting Xi warned that the United States was prepared to act unilaterally to stop North Korea's nuclear advances should China be unwilling to use its leverage over Pyongyang.

  • Leroy Wright