“The US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific,” the France-based AFP reported, quoting US Pacific Command spokesman Dave Benham. “The number one threat in the region continues to the North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”
The strike group, composed of the aircraft supercarrier USS Carl Vinson, a carrier air wing, two cruisers and destroyers, was previously based close to Singapore. With the latest order, the strike group will relocate to the Western Pacific Ocean near the peninsula.
The nuclear-powered supercarrier had been deployed to South Korea last month for a massive joint naval exercise in the South Korean seas, designed to cope with North Korean maritime provocations.
The latest move marks decisive US action in response to North Korea’s escalation of nuclear and missile provocations. North Korea has carried out a series of high-profile ballistic missile tests this year, including the latest one just four days ago.
In a statement issued over the US’ missile attacks on Syria, North Korea reaffirmed its nuclear ambition.
“The US’ invasion and intrusion schemes have reached a level of extreme arrogance. The reality shows that force should be dealt with force only and our choice to escalate our nuclear force have been proven totally right,” the North Korean statement said a day earlier. (Yonhap)