American Navy Strike Group Moving Toward Korean Peninsula

Apr 12, 2017, 00:49

"The North called the USA action in Syria "absolutely unpardonable" and said it proves that its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington's 'evermore reckless moves for a war'".

Experts meanwhile say that at this point, South Korea must work to establish a clear communication channel with the US - through its diplomatic and military agencies - as it could potentially become a victim of Washington's military maneuvers.

"We support the U.S. sending a very clear message to North Korea that it should not continue down this path of risking regional and global security", she told ABC radio.

American administrations have long ruled out even pinprick strikes on North Korean nuclear sites or missile targets because of the potential for catastrophic damage in South Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that the launch of US missiles against Syria last week carries a message for any nation operating outside global norms.

In response to the North Korean threat, the Vinson carrier will now cross into the Western Pacific rather than make port visits previously planned in Australia, said the PACOM command.

And while a US unilateral strike on North Korea from a shorter range might be more militarily effective, it likely would endanger many civilians in South Korea, experts warn.

"Expert satellite imagery analysis suggests [North Korea] could well be preparing for a sixth [missile launch], with U.S. intelligence officials warning that North Korea could be less than two years away from developing a nuclear warhead that could reach the continental U.S.", Aljazeera reported.

The US sent naval warships to waters near the Korean peninsula Sunday as North Korea continues to defy calls from world leaders to end its nuclear testing program. In a statement, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman David Benham called the move "a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific" and a way to "safeguard U.S. interests" in the region.

The missile strikes against Syria's Assad-led government took place Thursday night as President Donald Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner at Trump's Florida estate. The comments were carried by North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency on Sunday.

"If we judge that they have perfected that type of delivery system, then that becomes a very serious stage of their further development", said Tillerson.

North Korea denounced Thursday's strike as an act of "intolerable aggression" and one that justified "a million times over" the North's push toward a credible nuclear deterrent. He said the United States expects China, the main ally of North Korea, to do more to rein in the regime in Pyongyang.

"The proving itself that it can really take action if you play with chemical weapons like Syria", Lee said.