Memorial Day, 2017: Third U.S. carrier group heads to Korea

by WorldTribune Staff, May 28, 2017

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier is set to join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan in the western Pacific in a quiet but powerful warning to North Korea.

“Significant: @USNavy deploying #CVN68 (USS Nimitz) to Western Pacific, meaning there’ll soon be three carrier-led strike forces in region,” Voice of America’s Steve Herman tweeted on May 27.

USS Nimitz. / US Navy photo

“The U.S. military has rarely simultaneously deployed three aircraft carriers to the same region,” Herman’s report said.

The USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, can carry up to 90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he would not allow North Korea to develop the capability to strike the U.S. with a nuclear missile. Analysts say Pyongyang could have that capability some time after 2020.

Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the start of G-7 meetings in Sicily on May 26 that G-7 leaders would have a “particular focus on the North Korea problem.”

A White House statement said the two leaders agreed to “enhance sanctions on North Korea” in an attempt to prevent the further development of North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said it would test a system to shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The unprecedented test is intended to simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S., the military said.

The Missile Defense Agency said it will test an existing missile defense system on May 30 to try to intercept an ICBM. The U.S. military has used the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to intercept other types of missiles, but never an ICBM.

“The GMD has been inconsistent, succeeding in nine of 17 attempts against missiles without intercontinental range capability since 1999,” the VOA report said. “The most recent test, in June 2014, was successful – but three straight subsequent tests were failures.”

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