U.S. warships are cruising toward North Korea in a show of force to send a definitive message to the country's Communist leader, Kim Jong Un. President Donald Trump spoke with officials in both Seoul and Tokyo to discuss the "full range of options" open to both America and our allies when faced with a threat before the ships were ordered to change course.
An announcement from the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet revealed a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the Carl Vinson, and a vessel strike force which includes a guided-missile cruiser and two missile destroyers, have been diverted from their scheduled orders to a port in Australia and sent to North Korea instead. The mission change reportedly reflects an effort to "maintain readiness and presence in the western Pacific," Sky News reports.
U.S. sends signal to North Korea, in the form of an aircraft carrier and other warships https://t.co/2exDPbQuph pic.twitter.com/CSg472zJGVAfter President Trump's successful airstrikes in Syria, many political watchers think the warships heading toward North Korea are delivering a "you don't want to risk being next" message to Kim Jong Un. The isolated nation may be prepping for another nuclear test - it's sixth, according to a report by MSN.
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"The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability," Dave Benham, the U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, told the press.
The U.S. warships set course for North Korea not long after President Trump met with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in Florida over the weekend. Both of the presidents addressed the shared interest of their respective countries to curtail Kim Jong Un's stronghold in North Korea.
U.S. uses military might to make a statement to North Korea, deploys aircraft carrier and missile destroyers to Korean peninsula pic.twitter.com/Ku0VAMTpCzPresident Trump's airstrike on Syria after chemical weapons were used on innocent citizens, was vehemently denounced by North Korea. Kim Jong Un deemed the attack on a Syrian airbase "intolerable" and then doubled-down on the country's right to defend itself.
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Last year Kim Jong Un engaged in two underground nuclear missile tests. He is reportedly in the midst of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles which could be capable of sending a nuclear warhead into a United States' territory.
The condemnation of the airstrike in Syria and threats to test more missiles is yet another move by Kim Jong Un to defy resolutions passed by the United Nations and related measures designed to thwart the ability of North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. The true extent of the country's ballistic missile capabilities remains largely unknown.
"If we judge that they have perfected that type of delivery system, then that becomes a very serious stage of their further development," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during an interview with ABC on Sunday. "If you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly sought confirmation of promises of protection from North Korea by the United States during his visit to the White House not long after Donald Trump was sworn in as president. Kim Jong Un fired both short and medium-range ballistic missiles in the direction of Japan mere days before the prime minister met with President Trump.
Those tests occurred about one month after North Korea launched four medium-range missiles into the ocean simultaneously in a show of what the country deemed proof it could hit American military bases in Japan at will.
President Trump and Prime Minister Abe reportedly spoke on Sunday via phone about a whole host of "regional issues," including the threat posed to Japan by North Korea. A similar conversation also occurred between the president and the acting president of South Korea, Hwang Kyo-ahn, over the weekend.
Trump administration National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said North Korea has created a "pattern of provocative behavior." McMaster went on to label the country tightly ruled over by Kim Jong Un a "rogue regime" which now possesses nuclear capabilities.
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