USS Carl Vinson Strike Group – Back to Korean Peninsula
U.S. Pacific Command ordered the USS Carl Vinson Nimitz Class Carrier and accompanying strike group to head North to the Korean Peninsula as it left Singapore on Saturday, according to Fox News. It had been scheduled to go to Australia for military exercises and port visits, but those have been canceled.
“Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8…
Carl Vinson Strike Group, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia.” US Navy Press Release
The strike group is heavily armed from the aircraft known as “hornets,” to special radar, at least 300 missile tubes, and electronic warfare capabilities. Swatting at them really would be like swatting a hive of bees.
A show of force
Dealing with North Korea is tricky. Launching a first strike against the rogue regime would likely ignite a full fledged war in the region, with the million soldier North Korean Army pouring across the border of South Korea, or touch off a nuclear conflagration.
The Pentagon has stated they believe Kim Jong-Un is preparing for another nuclear test soon.
The Navy Times reported,
Experts warn that the tests show North Korea is getting closer to its goal of producing a nuclear-tipped rocket able to reach the United States, and that they are working on solid-state rocket fuel that can enable a launch with very short notice. Many see that as an unacceptable situation. The Trump administration has been floating the possibility of preemptive strikes, but China is pushing the U.S. to engage in direct diplomacy with Kim’s government to try and get them to halt their development.
Every year, the United States partners with South Korea for military exercises, and every year the North Korean leader accuses the U.S. of planning an invasion. Kim Jong-Un is unstable, and could do something foolish at any moment.
The DPRK launching of rockets/missiles and nuclear testing is in violation of UN agreements. Pyongyang will be celebrating the 105th birthday of its founding leader on April 15, so anything can happen.
After North Korea launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan in March the US began the process of deploying THAAD – (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) an anti-missile defense system. The system is designed to designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles.
President Trump spoke with South Korea’s acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn by phone on Saturday and agreed to keep in touch over the North Korean issue.
Although no word has been released on his conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the situation, it is likely he pressed the Chinese leader to make the DPRK abandon their nuclear ambitions.
Featured photo: USS Carl Vinson and escorts (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan K. Serpico)