Entire Senate Called to White House Over North Korea
All 100 Senators will be briefed on Wednesday at the White House Campus over the North Korea situation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are expected to conduct the briefing. For the entire Senate to be called to such an event is extremely rare.
Senator Mitch McConnell convened the briefing, which has been confirmed by the White House. It will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, EDT. No Congressional staffers will be allowed. The White House is working with the House of Representatives for a briefing for them as well.
On Sunday, Kim Jong-Un threatened to “sink ” the USS Carl Vinson in “one strike.” And though China has been asking both sides to calm their rhetoric, Kim has defiantly ignored the requests.
The USS Carl Vinson may be in position in the Sea of Japan by the end of the month. The commander of the Strike Group Rear Admiral Jim Kilby, noted on its Facebook page that “Our deployment has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the Waters off the Korean Peninsula…Our mission is to reassure allies and our partners of our steadfast commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. We will continue to be the centerpiece of visible maritime deterrence, providing our national command authority with flexible deterrent options, all domain access, and a visible forward presence.”
The Briefing at the White House- what will it entail?
According to Fox News,
Meanwhile, U.S. commercial satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, while Kim has said that the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.”
South Korea’s Defense Ministry has said the North appears ready to conduct such “strategic provocations” at any time. South Korean Acting Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has instructed his military to strengthen its “immediate response posture” in case North Korea does something significant on the April 25 anniversary of its military. North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying military capability.
President Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by phone. China is urging restraint for all parties.
The USS Carl Vinson conducted exercises with Japan in the region, and according to the Vice President, should be “at the Korean peninsula within days.” Depending on which media you listen to or read, it’s either a message to Kim or “routine.” The Carrier did participate in exercises with other nations on its way to the Western Pacific.
But there is nothing “routine” about North Korea’s intentions: they want to create a nuclear warhead to target the United States.