US Deploys Navy Strike Group To Korean Peninsula As Missile Concerns Mount
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 10, 2017,
Apr 10, 2017, 12:43
"We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the USA evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force", a North Korean foreign ministry official reportedly said, calling the Syrian airstrikes "absolutely unpardonable".
The US military has ordered a navy strike group to move towards the Korean peninsula, amid growing concerns about North Korea's missile programme.
"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. According to the statement, the Carl Vinson's orders were to "sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean". Previously, it was engaged in patrols of the South China Sea and joint military exercises with both Japan and South Korea.
Additionally, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Japan's Ministry of Defense successfully tested the first intercept of a ballistic missile using Raytheon's latest technology, the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA on February 3.
"Third Fleet ships operate forward with a goal: to safeguard US interests in the Western Pacific", Commander Dave Benham, spokesman for the US Pacific Command, said.
Pyongyang has launched an increasing number of missiles towards Japan this year, most recently last Wednesday, although South Korean analysts believe that test was a failure as the missile fell into the sea after just 37 miles. "... So the president has asked us to be prepared to give him a full range of options to remove that threat to the American people and our allies and partners in that region".
The deployment of the USS Vinson is a response to recent North Korean provocations, said the official.
Mr Tillerson told CBS' Face The Nation, in an interview broadcast yesterday, that when Mr Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at Mar-a-Lago last week, they "had extensive discussions around the risky situation in North Korea", The Guardian reported.
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. The events in question could be anything from a massive military parade to the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile to another nuclear weapons test.
"They have indicated that they will, and I think we need to allow them time to take actions", Tillerson said. "The U.S. Navy is committed to continuing this forward presence, which is focused on stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations". Multiple high-ranking military officials told NBC that alternative options could include deploying nuclear missiles in South Korea, or even eliminating Kim Jong-un. It is further feared that Pyongyang is getting ready for their sixth nuclear test.
"The scale of the US and South Korean joint military drills is becoming bigger, and pre-emptive exercises send a clear warning to Kim that the United States can destroy North Korea if it wants", Zhang said.