US Deploys Navy Strike Group To Korean Peninsula As Missile Concerns Mount

"It's prudent to do it, isn't it?"

Though officials are citing North Korean "provocations", the context of the deployment is primarily that the Trump Administration has been openly seeking options against North Korea, and that those options include the U.S. deploying nuclear arms to South Korea, along with possibly assassinating the leadership of North Korea's government.

Reuters reported the carrier will move near the Korean peninsula, citing a USA official it did not identify.

The move comes in the wake of North Korea's wave of recent ballistic missile tests, including a missile fired on Wednesday ahead of President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

North Korea has continued work on its nuclear program while advancing its short-, medium- and long-range missile capabilities, Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift told reporters Thursday in Tokyo.

"China has a great influence over North Korea", Trump said.

North Korea has conducted five atomic tests - one in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and two previous year. The Navy said the strike group "will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia".

"The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and intolerable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn it", a government official reportedly told the North Korea's national news agency, KCNA.

Washington conducts annual war games with its South Korean allies in which mock invasions of the North are practised - exercises the North views as preparation for an actual invasion.

Days before the summit, Trump warned that the United States was prepared to act unilaterally to stop North Korea's nuclear program from advancing further should China be unwilling to use its leverage over Pyongyang.

"I think it was a very useful and productive exchange", Tillerson said on Face the Nation about the leaders' discussions on North Korea.

In February, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on US bases in the neighboring Asian country.

The Kim Jong-Un regime in Pyongyang has repeatedly indicated it will test an intercontinental ballistic missile or something similar as soon as April 15, the celebration of the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il-Sung.

"Amidst an unprecedented pace of North Korean strategic weapons testing, our ability to provide actionable warning continues to diminish", Robinson said in written testimony to senators.

Over the weekend, North Korea said it was not afraid of military strikes like those the United States launched on Syria last week, saying it could defend itself with its "tremendous military muscle with a nuclear force".

  • Eleanor Harrison