US Moves Missile Destroyers Closer to 'Number One Threat' North Korea
A US Navy carrier strike group was moving toward the Korean Peninsula as the United States boosts its defenses against North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
(Image: US Navy via Getty Images)
Washington: A US Navy carrier strike group was moving toward the Korean Peninsula as the United States boosts its defenses against North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
"US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific," said Commander Dave Benham, the spokesman at US Pacific Command.
"The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilising program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability," he said on Saturday.
Originally scheduled to make port calls in Australia, it headed instead from Singapore to the Western Pacific Ocean.
US intelligence officials say Pyongyang could be less than two years away from developing a nuclear warhead that could reach the continental United States.
The head of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which provides missile detection and defense for the region, said on Thursday she was "extremely confident" of US capability to intercept a potential intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) bound for America from the North.
But General Lori Robinson expressed concerns for the type of ballistic missile powered by a solid-fuel engine that Pyongyang said it successfully tested in February.
"Amidst an unprecedented pace of North Korean strategic weapons testing, our ability to provide actionable warning continues to diminish," Robinson said in written testimony to senators.
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