Looking for new options now that “strategic patience” has ended, the Trump administration ordered the Navy Third Fleet supercarrier, USS Carl Vinson, and its compliment of destroyers and cruisers back to Korea, cutting short a port stay in Singapore and diverting it from planned exercises and leave in Australia. The Carl Vinson had just participated with South Korea in naval exercises in March.
|U.S. warship on its way to Korean Peninsula | Getty
The order to change course came from Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the Pacific Command in Hawaii. The high-profile announcement signals that the decision is a show of force as the administration attempts to increase pressure on the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un. The fleet move is receiving top Navy leaderships’ attention. Rear Admiral James Kilby is aboard the Carl Vinson and leading the strike group. Overall command is led by the Navy’s Third Fleet commander Vice Admiral Nora Tyson from her headquarters in San Diego.
Secretary of State Tillerson’s and President Trump’s recent statements indicate North Korea has moved to a top priority and strategic threat that policy is changing and some type of military action is possible, although still not likely.
North Korea just stated that it is in the final stage of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the United States. It won’t happen. (January)
North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the US for years. China has done little to help! (March)
If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all that I am telling you. (April)
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them. (April)
Policy of “strategic patience” is over (March)
U.S. military action against North Korea is “an option on the table.” North Korea’s threat on the South would be met with “an appropriate response.” Twenty years of diplomatic and other efforts have failed. (March)
North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment. (April)
The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula must happen. The President asked us to give him a full range of options to remove this threat to the American people and our allies and partners in the region. (April)