By Savannah Smith  |  04-09-2017   News
Photo credit: US Pacific Fleet | Flickr

Proving that the U.S. is not taking the threat of North Korea lightly, the government is sending a Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula in part as a response to growing concerns over the Asian country's weapons program.

A U.S. official who requested anonymity told Reuters that the American Navy's Carl Vinson strike group will move from Singapore into the West Pacific Ocean near the Korean Peninsula. It includes an aircraft carrier. It is a move that aims to increase pressure on North Korea to stop its weapons tests. The official said that America's increased presence in the area is necessary given the worrisome behavior of North Korea.

North Korea has been talking tough and issuing threats against the U.S. and its Asian allies Japan and South Korea. A bigger cause for worries is the number of weapons test it has conducted this year. Just this Tuesday, the rogue state launched a liquid-fueled Scud missile, which only managed a short distance before crashing into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula.

The country's leader Kim Jong Un has been threatening to test an intercontinental ballistic missile supposedly at any time he pleases. Kim has indicated the testing of the intercontinental ballistic missile could be near, possibly even as soon as April 15 which coincides with the 105th birthday of North Korea's founding president. The day is celebrated in North Korea annually as "The Day of the Sun".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said earlier that military action against North Korea will remain an option for the U.S. Other national security aides of President Trump prefer economic sanctions against North Korea, however.

The U.S. also remains in close coordination with its close allies Japan and South Korea in their efforts to control North Korea's nuclear arms ambitions. President Trump has just spoken earlier with the new South Korean president Hwang Kyo-Ahon to give assurances of the continued support of the U.S. regarding the North Korean problem.

President Trump also asked Chinese President Xi Jinping during his U.S. visit this week to take a tougher stance against North Korea even though the two countries are perceived as allies.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/us-navy-strike-group-to-move-toward-korean-peninsula-as-concerns-grow-over-the-norths

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