WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Monday ordered two additional aircraft carriers deployed to the Korean peninsula as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continue to mount.
South Korea’s primary news outlet, Yonhap, reports that in addition to the already deployed U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which is expected to arrive off the South Korean coast on April 25, the CVN. Ronald Reagan and the CVN-68 Nimitz will enter the Sea of Japan next week.
A source close to the Trump administration says the move is meant to show North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un, who attempted a missile launch early Sunday local time that failed “almost immediately”, that America’s new leader does not draw imaginary red lines in the sand.
“We expect it to be completely different from the previous administration,” said the source.
Trump, who was briefed on the launch while visiting his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend, has said that his administration has no qualms about using military action against the rogue leader, if necessary.
“The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement Saturday night.
Shin In-kyun, President of Korea Defense Network, a civic group specializing in military affairs, said that submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that was likely launched by the North Koreans, told NBC News (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/north-korean-missile-launch-fails-almost-immediately-u-s-military-n747006) that although this most recent test launch was a failure, the idea that Jung-un has developed this type of capability to begin with should be a matter of grave concern.
“SLBMs are more threatening than any other type of missile of the same range because it can evade radar detection, including the THAAD,” Shin said of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system provided to South Korea by the U.S. “If North Korea [can] complete building 3,000-ton submarine, they can then attack Guam, Hawaii and even Alaska with an SLBM.”
Vice President Mike Pence, in a rare trip to South Korea, put North Korea on notice saying that recent US military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that Trump’s patience should not be tested.
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence said in a joint press conference with South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn on Sunday.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”