US carrier strike group heads toward North Korea

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea's advancing weapons program.

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

The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

"We feel the increased presence is necessary," the official said, citing North Korea's worrisome behavior.

This year North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, have repeatedly indicated an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea's founding president and celebrated annually as "the Day of the Sun."
I suspect that the Trump administration will exhaust more peaceful means to stopping the North Korean threat before resorting to military means, but they appear determined to make it clear to all in the region that that option is definitely on the table.  It is in China's interests to stop the escalation of events by putting economic pressure on the Norks.  US trade has to be much more important to them than the minuscule trade with North Korea and the US can easily replace the coal that China buys from North Korea.


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