Movement of US Navy strike group a reaction to North Korea: McMaster

Command spokesman Dave Benham called diverting the supercarrier and its guided-missile escorts north a “prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence” in the volatile Western Pacific. A South Korean...

Command spokesman Dave Benham called diverting the supercarrier and its guided-missile escorts north a “prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence” in the volatile Western Pacific.

A South Korean official in March said the North is likely to conduct “high-intensity strategic provocations such as a nuclear test” or an intercontinental ballistic missile on key dates for the nation.

Last August, Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometers towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the “greatest success”.

Trump’s national security aides have completed a review of USA options to try to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

“There’s a shared view and no disagreement as to how risky the situation has become”, Tillerson said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Experts meanwhile say that at this point, South #Korea must work to establish a clear communication channel with the US – through its diplomatic and military agencies – as it could potentially become a victim of Washington’s military maneuvers.

What is in the strike group?

North Korea said that it was “not frightened” by the U.S. strike on its allies in #Syria , and vowed to beef up its nuclear force as U.S. Navy ships make their way to waters near the Asian nation.

“The recent US military attack on Syria is an action of warning”, the report said, according to the Associated Press.

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.

The ships have the ability to both fire and intercept missiles.

Seoul believes it is important to settle tensions through political process, and the restrictive measures against North Korea are created to engage Pyongyang in the dialogue, the spokesman said.

Although the option of pre-emptive military strikes on North Korea is not off the table, the review prioritises less-risky steps and de-emphasizes direct military action.

Mr Trump’s show of strength came during one of the most important meetings of his young presidency, as he hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at the Florida golf resort dubbed the “winter White House”.

The San Diego-based Vinson group left for a scheduled Asia-Pacific patrol on January 5.

The head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, which provides missile detection for the region, said Thursday she was “extremely confident” of USA capability to intercept a potential intercontinental ballistic missile bound for America from the North.

The group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) the guided missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).

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