US aircraft carrier-led strike group headed toward Korean Peninsula
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 11, 2017,
Apr 11, 2017, 17:33
Earlier this year, China called on both North Korea and the USA to tone down tension on the Korean Peninsula - North Korea by suspending its nuclear weapons program and the U.S. by stopping military exercises with South Korea that inflame the Pyongyang regime.
Pyongyang has slammed "reckless moves" by the USA and pledged to defend the North Korea from invasion "by powerful force of arms", according to state media.
It is routine for the U.S.S Vinson to be deployed to the Western Pacific, but usually not at a time of such high tension around the Korean Peninsula.
"We will hold the USA wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions", a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea signaled via their state media that officials were "ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S".
South Korean acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn warned of "greater provocations" by North Korea and ordered the military to intensify monitoring and to ensure close communication with the United States.
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".
Prior to the USS Carl Vinson strike group's stop in Singapore, the ships spent two weeks off the coast of South Korea participating in annual military exercises with that nation.
The carrier group was dispatched to the western Pacific in January for activities in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the region.
General H.R. McMaster said on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend, adding that the move is "prudent".
China is North Korea's main diplomatic and economic ally.
The announcement comes amid North Korea's insistent testing of a ballistic missile program, which is banned under worldwide rules.
The US has sent warships into waters near the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea's "reckless" nuclear threat.
In a bustling week at the Pentagon and White House, American officials worked up plans to batter the Syrian airfield and prep for the president's meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping that began Thursday at Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida.
China and South Korea agreed on Monday to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea if it carried out nuclear or long-range missile tests, a senior official in Seoul said.
Pyongyang tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile this month.
Satellite imagery analysis suggests it could be preparing for a sixth, with U.S. intelligence officials warning that Pyongyang could be less than two years away from its ability of striking the continental United States.
Both Moon Jae-In, the leading candidate in the race who represents the liberal Democratic Party of Korea, and a spokesman for the conservative Liberty Party Korea, called on the U.S.to consult with South Korea before taking any military action.