U.S. carrier group reverses course, heads for Korean peninsula

by WorldTribune Staff, April 9, 2017

A U.S. Navy strike group, which includes the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, is heading toward the Korean peninsula, a U.S. official said.

USS Carl Vinson strike group. /Twitter

The strike group departed Singapore and is moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on April 8.

The official said the strike group will operate in the Western Pacific rather than making previously planned port visits to Australia.

“We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official said, citing North Korea’s recent behavior.

Earlier this month North Korea tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of its range.

The Kim Jong-Un regime in Pyongyang has repeatedly indicated it will test an intercontinental ballistic missile or something similar as soon as April 15, the celebration of the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il-Sung.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security team has completed a review of U.S. options to try to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs which include economic and military measures but lean more toward sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbor.

The review de-emphasizes direct military action, but a pre-emptive strike on the North is not off the table.