US supercarrier to arrive in Sea of Japan in days

North Korea said it was prepared to strike a US aircraft carrier, on Sunday, as two Japanese navy ships joined a USA carrier group the western Pacific.

"Seeing the threats we are facing now, it is no surprise that Japan and the United States conduct joint exercises", a senior lawmaker of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party told Japan's NHK public broadcaster, adding the exercises would send a "strong message".

The strike group is in the region as tensions spike over North Korea's rogue arms program and concerns that Pyongyang is planning a sixth nuclear test as it pursues its goal of a weapon capable of reaching the USA mainland. Japan's ships would accompany the Carl Vinson north at least into the East China Sea, a source with knowledge of the plan said.

The North will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday and has marked important events in the past by launching missiles or conducting nuclear tests.

Trump said he was sending "an armada" to Korean waters potentially to deal with threats from North Korea. The carrier has been making its way from Singapore to the Sea of Japan since last week, making stops in Asia along the way.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that an "armada" is heading to the Korean Peninsula's shores amid a tensions with North Korea had escalated.

The MSDF did not say how long the Japanese destroyers would stay with the US carrier.

"We truly believe that, as our allies in the region and China bring that pressure to bear, there is a chance that we can achieve a historic objective of a nuclear-free Korea peninsula by peaceful means", Pence said. If she sailed from the strait to the Celebes Sea, her voyage to Korea would be several hundred nm longer than the shortest possible route, which would pass through the South China Sea.

News outlets then, in sensationalized headlines, characterized Trump as misleading the public, when a lot of them did not catch that the carrier was still participating in exercises with the Australian Navy.

USA and South Korean officials have been saying for weeks that the North could soon stage another nuclear test, something the United States, China and others have warned against. The Trump administration recently declared an end to "strategic patience" toward North Korea.

  • Leroy Wright