Tillerson says USA missile strikes deliver message for others

The strike group departed Singapore and is moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on April 8.

Earlier this week President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida, where Trump pressed his counterpart to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear program.

"Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8", the release said.

"The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and unforgivable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn this", KCNA quoted an unnamed spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry as saying.

We've seen similar moves in the past in response to one of the DPRK's many missile tests or tests of its nuclear weapons capability.

Last August, Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) 500 kilometres (300 miles) towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what Kim hailed as the "greatest success".

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the USA wasn't interested in "regime change" in North Korea as American warships were diverted to waters near the country amid heightened tensions over its nuclear weapons programme.

In advance of summit with Xi, Trump warned that the U.S. would act alone if the Chinese didn't exert pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear threats.

"The deployment of the Carl Vinson Strike Group so soon after the U.S. President's decision to strike the Syrian airbase will raise the stakes for Xi, who is said to have agreed in principle to do more about North Korea's evolving nuclear strike capability", said Dr. John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society. The ships have the ability to both fire and intercept missiles.

While the U.S. possesses overwhelming firepower compared to North Korea, an American strike on North Korea could expose South Korea to devastating casualties in retaliation, experts say.

Nikki Haley said the removal of al-Assad, removing Iranian influence in Syria and defeating the Islamic State terrorist group are the priorities for the US President.

USS Carl Vinson strike group. The North called the airstrikes "absolutely unpardonable" and said it proves that its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington's "evermore reckless moves for a war".

"Because North Korea places most of its assets underground, it will be hard for the Vinson group to do a lot of damage to North Korea on its own", he said. "We're rapidly and dangerously heading towards the reality that the military option is the only one left when it comes to getting North Korea to denuclearize", Keane told Fox News.

The crisis was nearly certainly discussed over the weekend when Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Trump at his Florida retreat at Mar-a-Lago.

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

  • Leroy Wright