The United States deployed the naval strike group to the Korean Peninsula, forcing North Korea to respond with a stern warning that it is ready to counter “the reckless acts of aggression”.
North Korea handed the media an official statement declaring that they are currently in a position where they should act as a self defense mechanism and would preempt “strike capabilities with the nuclear force at the core.”
Pyongyang said that it would make the United States fully accountable for “catastrophic consequences” resulting from the “outrageous acts”.
97,000 tons USS Carl Vinson has been sent by the Pentagon to the region. This is escorted with a guided-missile cruiser as well as two destroyers as a respond to North Korean persistent missile tests.
Kim Jong-Un, the North’s leader, is scheduled to be part of the country’s Supreme People’s Assembly meeting on Tuesday which is usually attended by high-ranking political figures.
The gathering is happening just some few days before North Korea celebrates the April 15 birthday of its deceased leader Kim Il Sung, Kim’s grandfather. Analysts point to the possibility of the day being marked with more nuclear tests.
The Carl Vinson
According to a statement issued by Pentagon, the strike group, referred to as Carl Vinson, will move through Singapore to the Korean Peninsula.
While speaking to the AFP news agency, Commander Dave Benham, spokesperson at US Pacific Command, said that “US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific.”
He added that North Korea is still the region’s number one threat due to its persistent missile tests that he described to be “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing”.
A US navy’s Third Fleet Saturday statement reported that the strike group was on its to the north but failed to provide the final destination.
The strike group was first deployed on January 5 from San Diego and has taken part in a number of practices in conjunction with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and Republic of Korea Navy, various maritime security initiatives, and routine patrol operations in the South China Sea.
The US has made the decision at a time when its Syrian airstrike is still fresh in the minds of many. The airstrike was interpreted as a warning to North Korea to abandon its ambitious nuclear programmes or face the consequences.
The Thirst for Missile
The past few months have seen North Korea emerge to be desperate for a missile. Earlier this month, it tested a liquid-fuelled Scud missile which did not cover any considerable distance.
The country’s leader has pointed to the possibility of the North working on an intercontinental ballistic missile or something close to that. April 15 will mark the country’s founding father’s 105th birthday and this may be a day to see that missile unveiled.
Kim Jong-Un is determined to develop a long-range missile that can strike US mainland and has so far conducted 5 nuclear tests.