North Korea’s state media warned that nuclear attacks would be launched on the U.S. if the reclusive state saw signs of American aggression. This was reported as a strike group of the U.S. Navy headed towards the western Pacific.
U.S. President Donald Trump weighed in on the matter in a tweet warning that North Korea was inviting trouble before declaring that the world’s most powerful nation would sort out the matter even if China declined to help. This follows Trump’s previous insistence that China, as a neighbor and ally of North Korea, had the capacity and leverage to do more to rein in rogue state but had failed to do so.
Sixth nuclear test
Tension is now mounting along the Korean peninsula as concerns rise that North Korea is planning to conduct its 6th nuclear test. The U.S. had over the weekend announced that the Carl Vinson strike group was being diverted to the peninsula.
“We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. That I can tell you,” Trump said in an interview with the Fox Business Network.
Despite the threats of military conflict officials in the United States have noted that tougher sanctions were likely to be more effective than military action in pressing North Korea to stop its nuclear program. But at the same time, U.S. officials have pointed out that all means and options will be employed, including military ones, if the need arose. The strikes on Syria by the U.S. was used as an example that North Korea should be ready to face similar consequences.
The Carl Vinson strike group consists of the aircraft carrier named USS Carl Vinson which is powered by a nuclear reactor. The aircraft carrier is accompanied by a cruiser and two destroyers. Though it is never publicized, such a strike force is normally accompanied by submarines.
At a news conference in the Pentagon, Jim Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense said the strike force had been deployed out of prudence and not because of a specific event. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary said North Korea should heed the warning though he said there was no evidence that the hermit state had the capability or capacity to launch a nuclear attack against the United States.
Technically, North Korea remains at war with South Korea and the United States as the 1950-53 conflict between the two Koreas was ended by a truce as opposed to a peace treaty.