China’s Xi Jinping called for restraint during an overnight call about North Korea with President Donald Trump, which came as Japan conducted joint drills with a US aircraft carrier strike group headed for the region. The vessels of the two countries began joint exercises Sunday in the Western Pacific. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was rerouted toward North Korea earlier this month, after initial confusion over its strike group’s deployment – including a statement by President Trump that he was sending “an armada” to the Korean Peninsula. JS Samidare and JS Ashigara, two destroyers, joined the exercise with the USA carrier group.
The U.S. Navy says the joint exercises are routine, created to improve combined maritime response and defense capabilities, as well as joint maneuvering proficiency.
South Korea says key parts of a contentious US missile defense system have been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.
The military exercises came amid heightened concerns over a possible nuclear or missile test by North Korea as it marks the 85th anniversary of its army.
People’s Armed Forces Minister Pak Yong Sik said, “We are waiting for an order to launch nuclear attacks that target USA military bases in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the United States mainland”.
North Korea showed off its newest weapons, including prototype ICBMs and midrange solid-fuel missiles, at the April 15 parade honoring late state founder Kim Il Sung, grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.
While the four-star admiral was confident the strike group could withstand any attack by North Korea, his long-term outlook on the growing threat from the country’s nuclear weapons program was less optimistic.
The Trump administration has warned that “all options are on the table”, including a military strike.
“In confronting the North Korean threat, it is critical that the U.S.be guided by a strong sense of resolve both publicly and privately in order to bring Kim Jong-Un to his senses, not his knees”, Harris said.
As another deterrent, Harris pointed to the USS Michigan – a guided-missile submarine – that arrived in South Korea Tuesday, saying it was an important show of force.
“The status quo in North Korea is also unacceptable”, Trump told a meeting with the 15 U.N. Security Council ambassadors, including China and Russian Federation, at the White House.
The two governments “did not conduct (such joint drills) out of consideration for opposition from neighboring nations”, said a senior Defense Ministry official.
In March, the Pentagon told Business Insider that the United States does not train for decapitation strikes of any kind, but would not confirm or deny the presence of the SEALs in Korea.
All 100 USA senators will be briefed on North Korea at the White House late afternoon Wednesday. “I can say in terms of solving the North Korean crisis, China’s efforts can’t be overstated”.
But Yonhap also reported on March 13 that SEAL Team 6 was training alongside South Korea’s version of the SEALs for “incapacitating” North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
All 100 senators have been invited to an unprecedented briefing in a building next to the White House that will include President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, defense secretary, top general and national intelligence director.