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US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment


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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:51 pm

Carl Vinson Wins Departmental Awards

“Commander Naval Air Forces, Pacific awarded aircraft carrier departmental awards to multiple departments aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on 17 March 2017.

Carl Vinson won 12 awards, recognizing excellence at the departmental level across the ship.

Departments recognized were: air (yellow "E"), aviation intermediate maintenance (black "E"), combat systems (green "CS"), damage control (red "DC"), deck (white crossed anchors with black "D"), health services (blue "M"), navigation (white ship's wheel), operations (green "E"), security (black "S"), supply (blue "E"), and weapons (black "W"). A purple "E" was earned for the carrier maintenance category.

Command Master Chief Jeff Owejan expressed his pride in Carl Vinson's crew for their outstanding work during the last year.

"Winning these awards tells other ships and passers-by that our crew is very squared away and that we constantly exceed expectations," said Owejan. "Looking at the sides of the ship and seeing the awards with the hash marks beneath the letters and the stars above them should be a point of pride for all Carl Vinson Sailors."

Owejan went on to say the awards should serve as motivation for the crew to sustain excellent performance as the ship continues her regularly-scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego for a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment, Jan. 5.

For more than 70 years, the U.S. Navy has maintained a persistent naval presence in the Indo-Asia Pacific. The U.S. Navy is committed to continuing this forward presence, which is focused on stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983, a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea” (Ref. Story Number: NNS170412-10 - Release Date: 4/12/2017 2:42:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zackary Landers, SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS)). http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=99876
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:30 am

Quote:
U.S. May Launch Strike If North Korea Reaches For Nuclear Trigger
NBC News - William M. Arkin and Cynthia McFadden and Courtney Kube and Kenzi Abou-Sabe – April 13, 2017

“The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

North Korea has warned that a "big event" is near, and U.S. officials say signs point to a nuclear test that could come as early as this weekend.

Watch Cynthia McFadden Live Tonight on NBC Nightly News at 6:30pm

The intelligence officials told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site.

American heavy bombers are also positioned in Guam to attack North Korea should it be necessary, and earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being diverted to the area.

Related: Trump's Options for North Korea Include Placing Nukes in South Korea
The danger of such an attack by the U.S. is that it could provoke the volatile and unpredictable North Korean regime to launch its own blistering attack on its southern neighbor.

"The leadership in North Korea has shown absolutely no sign or interest in diplomacy or dialogue with any of the countries involved in this issue," Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told NBC News Thursday.
On Wednesday, North Korea said it would "hit the U.S. first" with a nuclear weapon should there be any signs of U.S. strikes.

On Thursday, North Korea warned of a "merciless retaliatory strike" should the U.S. take any action.

Related: North Korea Warns It Would Use Nuclear Weapons First If Threatened
"By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the US is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war," said North Korea's statement.

North Korea is not believed to have a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon, according to U.S. experts, nor does it yet possess an intercontinental missile.
South Korea's top diplomat said today that the U.S. would consult with Seoul before taking any serious measures. "U.S. officials, mindful of such concerns here, repeatedly reaffirmed that (the U.S.) will closely discuss with South Korea its North Korea-related measures," foreign minister Yun Byung told a special parliamentary meeting. "In fact, the U.S. is working to reassure us that it will not, just in case that we might hold such concerns."

U.S. Officials Are Aware of the Risk

"Two things are coming together this weekend," said retired Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO and an NBC analyst. "One is the distinct possibility of a sixth North Korean nuclear weapons detonation and the other is an American carrier strike group, a great deal of firepower headed right at the Korean Peninsula."

The U.S. is aware that simply preparing an attack, even if it will only be launched if there is an "imminent" North Korean action, increases the danger of provoking a large conflict, multiple sources told NBC News.

"It's high stakes," a senior intelligence official directly involved in the planning told NBC News. "We are trying to communicate our level of concern and the existence of many military options to dissuade the North first."

"It's a feat that we've never achieved before but there is a new sense of resolve here," the official said, referring to the White House.

Related: China Proposes Deal To Ease Tensions Over North Korean Missiles
The threat of a preemptive strike comes on the same day the U.S. announced the use of its MOAB — or Mother of All Bombs — in Afghanistan, attacking underground facilities, and on the heels of U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase last week, a strike that took place while President Trump was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

Multiple government officials familiar with the situation say President Trump has talked to Chinese president Xi twice about North Korea since their Florida summit.
China has since sent its top nuclear negotiators to Pyongyang to communicate the gravity of the situation to the North, officials say. On Wednesday, President Xi called for a peaceful resolution to the escalating tensions.

Moscow has weighed in as well: "We are gravely concerned about Washington's plans regarding North Korea, considering hints about the unilateral use of a military scenario" the Putin government said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
South Korea Must Sign Off

Implementation of the preemptive U.S. plans, according to multiple U.S. officials, depends centrally on consent of the South Korean government. The sources stress that Seoul has got to be persuaded that action is worth the risk, as there is universal concern that any military move might provoke a North Korean attack, even a conventional attack across the DMZ.

Tensions have escalated on the Korean Peninsula, as this Saturday marks the anniversary of the birth of the nation's founder — Kim il-Sung, grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un. At the highest levels in South Korea and the U.S., sources told NBC News, there are fears North Korea could mark the "Day of the Sun" by testing a nuclear device.

"North Korea in the past has used these major national holidays to celebrate the strengths of the regime and to reinforce the national narrative of their independence," says Cha.

According to multiple sources, the U.S. intelligence community has reported with "moderate confidence" that North Korea is preparing for its sixth underground nuclear test, though the U.S. is also in the dark regarding the specific timing.
Related: Could North Korea Hit Japan With Sarin Nerve Gas Missiles?

The Trump administration, emboldened by their punishing strike on Syria, and by a successful meeting with the Chinese leader, hopes that the Chinese will use their considerable leverage to dissuade Kim Jong UN and his government from moving ahead with their nuclear program.

President Trump has said he thinks Xi "wants to help us with North Korea," He credited China during Thursday's White House news conference with Xi with taking a "big step" by turning back boats of coal that North Korea sells to China.

"I think that is what President Trump is getting trying to get the Chinese to do," said Cha. "[It] would impose real pain and force real choices on North Korea — whether the costs are worth it for them to continue to pursue this program if they no longer have any sustenance."

In addition to the coal ships, the Chinese made an important gesture at the UN Thursday: A surprising abstention on a Security Council resolution condemning a Syrian chemical weapons attack. China didn't stand with the Russians on Syria, as it has in the past.

The president also made clear that if the Chinese were unable to diffuse the situation, the U.S. would go to alone. On Thursday, he tweeted: "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., and its allies will!"


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-may-launch-strike-if-north-korea-reaches- for-nuclear-trigger/ar-BBzP1Eu?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Quote:
N. Korean official: Ready for war if Trump wants it
Associated Press - By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated – April 14, 2017

PYONGYANG, North Korea — President Donald Trump's tweets are adding fuel to a "vicious cycle" of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Friday.

The official added that if the U.S. shows any sign of "reckless" military aggression, Pyongyang is ready to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own. Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of his predecessor, Barack Obama. He added that North Korea will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in "quality and quantity" and said Pyongyang is ready to go to war if that's what Trump wants.

Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington go back to President Harry Truman and the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. But the heat has been rising rapidly since Trump took office in January.

This year's joint war games between the U.S. and South Korean militaries are the biggest ever; the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier has been diverted back to the waters off Korea after heading for Australia; and U.S. satellite imagery suggests the North could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

Pyongyang recently tested a ballistic missile and claims it is close to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear warhead that could attack the U.S. mainland. Many experts believe that at its current pace of testing, North Korea could reach that potentially game-changing milestone within a few years — under Trump's watch as president. Despite reports that Washington is considering military action if the North goes ahead with another nuclear test, Han did not rule out the possibility of a test in the near future.

"That is something that our headquarters decides," he said during the 40-minute interview in Pyongyang, which is now gearing up for a major holiday — and possibly a big military parade — on Saturday.

"At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place." The North conducted two such tests last year alone. The first was of what it claims to have been a hydrogen bomb and the second was its most powerful ever.

The annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises have consistently infuriated the North, which views them as rehearsals for an invasion. Washington and Seoul deny that, but reports that exercises have included "decapitation strikes" aimed at the North's leadership have fanned Pyongyang's anger. Han said Trump's tweets have also added fuel to the flames.

Trump posted a tweet Tuesday in which he said the North is "looking for trouble" and reiterated his call for more pressure from Beijing, North Korea's economic lifeline, to clamp down on trade and strengthen its enforcement of U.N. sanctions to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize. Trump has threatened that if Beijing isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the U.S. might take the matter into its own hands.

"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words," Han said. "It's not the DPRK but the U.S. and Trump that makes trouble." North Korea's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He added: "We will go to war if they choose."

Han said the sanctions approach is misguided and cited the opening ceremony of a sprawling new high-rise residential area in Pyongyang on Thursday as evidence that sanctions have failed to ruin the country's economy. Leader Kim Jong Un presided over the ceremony before about 100,000 residents and a large contingent of foreign journalists who have been allowed in to cover the holiday. Han dismissed the suggestion Trump made last year during his presidential campaign that he was willing to meet Kim Jong Un, possibly over hamburgers.

"I think that was nothing more than lip service during the campaign to make himself more popular," Han said. "Now we are comparing Trump's policy toward the DPRK with the former administration's and we have concluded that it's becoming more vicious and more aggressive," Han said. "Whatever comes from U.S. politicians, if their words are designed to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them," he said.

© The Associated Press Han Song Ryol, North Korea's vice foreign minister, listens to a translator during an interview with The Associated Press on Friday in Pyongyang. Han said North Korea changed its military strategy two years ago, when the reports of "decapitation strike" training began to really get attention, to stress pre-emptive actions.
"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike," he said. "Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it. We are fully prepared to handle it."

How much such comments are bluster, or how realistic they are, is hard to gauge. Later Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said all sides must stop provoking and threatening and start taking a flexible approach to resuming dialogue.

He said China is willing to support any such effort. "Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple-loss. No one can become a winner," Wang said. "No matter who it is, if it wants to make war or trouble on the Korean Peninsula, it must take the historical responsibility and pay the due price."

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Han's remarks on the North's readiness to conduct a nuclear test and even go to war reveal the "true colors of North Korea's government that is bellicose and a breaker of regulations."

The ministry issued a statement saying North Korea will face strong punishment it will find hard to withstand if it makes a significant provocation, such as another nuclear test or an ICBM launch.

Military experts generally agree a shooting war with North Korea would likely be far more costly than something along the lines of the recent targeted strike Trump ordered against a Syrian air base believed to be linked to a chemical weapons attack by the regime of Bashir Assad. That attack alarmed the North and was condemned as "unpardonable" by Pyongyang, which counts Syria as an ally. Even without nuclear weapons, the North could cause severe damage and casualties with its conventional artillery batteries aimed at the South Korean capital of Seoul. North Korea's military is also heavily dug in, meaning it could be hard to find and destroy key targets, or to secure the North's nuclear weapons even if its leadership were attacked.

Despite talk of conflict in the halls of power, life in Pyongyang has been pretty much normal over the past week as the country gears up for its biggest holiday of the year: the 105th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and leader Kim Jong Un's grandfather.

The Saturday anniversary may provide the world with a look at some of its arsenal. Expectations are high the North may put its newest missiles on display during a military parade that could be held to mark the event. Another big military holiday comes on April 25, when its army marks its anniversary.



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/n-korean-official-ready-for-war-if-trump-wan ts-it/ar-BBzNujf?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:48 pm

Quote:
China warns of N. Korea conflict 'at any moment'
AFP - April 14, 2017

A conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment", China said Friday, warning there would be no winner in any war as tensions soar with the United States.
The sharp language came after US President Donald Trump said the North Korea problem "will be taken care of", as speculation mounts the reclusive state could be preparing another nuclear or missile test.

Trump has sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean peninsula to press his point, one of a series of measures that indicate his willingness to shake up foreign policy strategy.

"Lately, tensions have risen... and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment," Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said.

"If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner."

Trump has repeatedly said he will prevent Pyongyang from its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.
"We are sending an armada. Very powerful," Trump said Wednesday of the strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson supercarrier.

A White House foreign policy advisor said Friday that the US is assessing military options in response to the North's weapons programs, saying another provocative test was a question of "when" rather than "if."

- 'Best choice' -

Pyongyang has responded with defiance, saying it is ready to fight "any mode of war" chosen by the US and even threatening a nuclear strike against American targets.
There are reports of activity at a nuclear test site in North Korea ahead of Saturday's 105th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung, which have fuelled speculation it could carry out a sixth test.

The North's sabre-rattling has encouraged a rapprochement between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who met face-to-face for the first time late last week at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

Though his election campaign was marked with acerbic denouncements of China's "rape" of the US economy, Trump dropped his anti-China bombast in Florida, afterwards hailing an "outstanding" relationship with Xi.

But he insists China must handle the Pyongyang problem or suffer the consequences -- alarming Beijing, the country's sole major ally and economic lifeline.

Beijing has long opposed dramatic action against the North, fearing the regime's collapse would send a flood of refugees across its borders and leave the US military on its doorstep.

"Dialogue is the only possible solution," Wang said.
But it has lately adopted a tougher line against its neighbour, including suspending coal imports from the country for the remainder of the year.

An editorial in the Global Times, thought to have close ties to hawkish elements of the ruling Communist Party, wrote Thursday that if the North gradually abandoned its weapons programme, "China would play an active role in safeguarding the security of the denuclearised DPRK and its regime".

"This is Pyongyang's best choice," it said.

In the midst of mounting tensions, there has been little sign of strain on the streets of Pyongyang in recent days, where the focus is on preparations for Saturday's anniversary.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on Thursday unveiled the sprawling Ryomyong street development, a prestige housing project repeatedly promised in time to mark the occasion.

Before the international press and tens of thousands of his adoring citizens, he cut a wide red ribbon to rhythmic cheers, before waving and returning to his Mercedes limousine.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-warns-of-n-korea-conflict-at-any-momen t/ar-BBzPBno?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:32 pm

Aircraft Carriers Available in order of readiness, based on training and exercises

“USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) departed Norfolk, Va. on 30 March 2017, for Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in support of the optimized fleet response plan off the coast of North Carolina” (Ref. 76).

“USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) returned to Norfolk, Va. on April 2017, conducting Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in support of the optimized fleet response plan off the coast of North Carolina from 30 March to 11 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS Nimitz (CVN-68) returned to Kitsap-Bremerton, Wa. on April 2017, conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) from 17 to 26 March 2017 off the coast of Southern California. Nimitz conducted operations in the Eastern Pacific from 13 to 15 March 2017, arriving Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI), San Diego, Calif. on 16 March 2017, departing on the 17th for COMPTUEX and upon conclusion, pulled in for a port of call at NASNI, San Diego, Calif. on 27 March 2017. Nimitz was underway in the Eastern Pacific on 28 March 2017, commencing COMPTUEX on the 29th through 11 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) returned to Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI), San Diego, California on 11 April 2017, concluding Tailored Ship’s Training Availability and Final Evaluation Period (TSTA/FEP) off the coast of southern California from 8 to 10 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

Deployed

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was underway in the North Arabian Sea from 13 to 20 March 2017, passing through the Gulf of Oman into the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Persian Gulf on the 21st” (Ref. 76)

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was underway in the Persian Gulf from 21 March to 11 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was underway in the South China Sea from 6 to 14 April 2017” (Ref. 76).
Last edited by Batman47 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:15 pm

Quote:
Mike Pence heading to South Korea amid North Korea tensions
CBS News - Rebecca Shabad – April 14, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence will leave Washington on Saturday for an 11-day trip overseas with his first stop in South Korea as North Korea appears to prepare for another nuclear test.

White House officials said Pence’s trip is intended to reinforce that the U.S. is fully committed to its security alliances, especially in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat, to facilitate economic engagement and reinforce that it’s fully committed to partnerships with key countries.

His trip comes as new satellite images show that North Korea may be preparing to conduct its sixth nuclear test, reports CBS News’ Ben Tracy. The country is “primed and ready,” a U.S.-based watchdog group says, after it analyzed telltale signs of activity at the remote underground test site.

In an interview with Tracy, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol accused the Trump administration of wanting to “annihilate” his country and blamed the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula squarely on the U.S. and South Korea.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, is calling on Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to immediately call the House back into session so that Congress can debate the missile strikes the Trump administration launched against the Syrian regime last week and the “saber-rattling on North Korea.”

She said they both demand serious and immediate Congressional scrutiny.

“Speaker Ryan must call Congress back into session for classified briefings and debate. Congress must do its duty and honor our responsibility to the Constitution,” she said in a statement.
Congress is currently on its first week of its two-week recess.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mike-pence-heading-to-south-korea-amid-no rth-korea-tensions/ar-BBzPLWz?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

The destroyer USS Michael Murphy, left, and the cruiser USS Lake Champlain are underway with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in waters near Indonesia, Friday, April 14, 2017. DANNY KELLEY/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the Sunda Strait between the Indonesian Islands of Java and Sumatra on April 15, 2017 after the US Navy announced it had sent a carrier-led strike group. SEAN CASTELLANO/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

“USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transited the Sunda Strait on 15 April 2017” (Ref. 76).
Last edited by Batman47 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:41 pm

Quote:
North Korean missile 'blows up' on test launch as Pence heads for South
Reuters – April 15, 2017

A North Korean missile "blew up almost immediately" on its test launch on Sunday, the U.S. Pacific Command said, hours before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was due in the South for talks on the North's increasingly defiant arms program.

The failed launch from the east coast came a day after North Korea held a military parade in its capital, marking the birth anniversary of the state founder, in which what appeared to be new long-range ballistic missiles were on display.

Pence is due in Seoul at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia in what his aides said was a sign of the U.S. commitment to its ally in the face of rising tension over North Korea.
A U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike group was also heading for the region.
The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked.

"The North attempted to launch an unidentified missile from near the Sinpo region this morning but it is suspected to have failed," the South's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The U.S. Pacific Command said the missile "blew up almost immediately", adding the type of missile was being analyzed.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed South Korean intelligence source as saying the missile appeared to have not flown far from its land-based launch site.

The North launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month ahead of a summit between the leaders of the United States and China, its key ally, to discuss the North's arms program.

A U.S. Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month with Tomahawk missiles raised questions about U.S. President Donald Trump's plans for reclusive North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the United States.

Sinpo, where the launch took place, is the site of a North Korean submarine base and where the North has tested the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) it is developing.

The missile launched earlier this month flew about 60 km (40 miles) but what U.S. officials said appeared to be a liquid-fueled, extended-range Scud missile only traveled a fraction of its range before spinning out of control.

“It appears today’s launch was already scheduled for re-launching after the earlier test-firing” Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.

“This launch can possibly be a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade,” Kim added.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

Tension had escalated sharply in the region amid concerns that the North may conduct a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile test launch around the April 15 anniversary it calls the "Day of the Sun."

The White House has said Trump has put the North "on notice" while the possibility of U.S. military action against Pyongyang has gained traction following U.S. strikes against Syria on April 7.

Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and the South's main ally, the United States.
(Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korean-missile-blows-up-on-test-launch -as-pence-heads-for-south/ar-BBzSwR9?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:58 pm

Quote:
Analysis: Here are the missiles North Korea just showed off, one by one
The Washington Post - Anna Fifield – April 15, 2017

TOKYO – North Korea put on a jaw-dropping military display Saturday, when the regime celebrated its most important day of the year: "the Day of the Sun,” the anniversary of its founder, Kim Il Sung.

Kim Jong Un, the founder’s grandson and the current leader of North Korea, has made it very clear that he wants nuclear warheads and the means to deliver them to the United States. In his New Year’s Day address, Kim said that North Korea was entering the “final stage” of preparations to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the American mainland.

So experts were anticipating a big show Saturday, but even they were stunned by the range of apparently new missiles on display, and the sheer number of them.

We talked to Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California and a self-described "arms control wonk," about the missiles on display Saturday.

Here are the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective.)

Were those ICBMs?

Let’s start at the end. As the finale for Saturday’s parade, the North Korean military wheeled two sets of huge missile canisters through Kim Il Sung Square. These are the canisters that hold the missiles, not the missiles themselves, and it’s anyone’s guess what was inside the canisters. Maybe intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to reach the United States, maybe nothing at all.

“But if it’s not an ICBM itself, it’s bridge to an ICBM,” Lewis said.

One set of canisters appeared to be the right size for the KN-08, a three-stage missile that North Korea calls the Hwasong-13. With a theoretical range of about 7,500 miles, this missile could reach all of the United States from North Korea.

.@DaveSchmerler This thing (left) looks like a Chinese DF-31 (right). The canister is ICBM-sized, though what's inside is anyone's guess. pic.twitter.com/9eff9OusZ1
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) April 15, 2017

“The natural reaction is: What the hell is that?” Lewis said of the canister. “Maybe there is a KN-08 inside it, maybe there’s some new missile inside it, or maybe it’s nothing. It’s a mystery.”

The second set of “giant” canisters looked similar to those for the Topol-M, the Russian intercontinental ballistic missile, he said. “What’s inside those is a mystery too.”

.@DaveSchmerler And this thing (left) looks like a Russian Topol (right). Again, no idea what's inside the canister, if anything. pic.twitter.com/uG5g5Oos53
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) April 15, 2017

“My guess is that what it’s intended to convey is that there are more ICBMs coming, more solid-fuel missiles,” Lewis said.

Solid-fuel missiles: from sea and land

The North Korean military displayed six ballistic missiles that can be launched from a submarine, which the United States calls the KN-11 but which North Korea calls the Pukguksong-1 (or “Polaris-1.”)

More SLBMs #JucheFest2017pic.twitter.com/OVxrx6uhYJ
— Dave Schmerler (@DaveSchmerler) April 15, 2017

North Korea fired one of these missiles from a submarine near its east coast port of Sinpo in August, and it flew about 300 miles before falling into the sea inside Japan’s air-defense identification zone, the area in which Tokyo controls aircraft movement.

Kim described it as “the greatest success” at the time and said North Korea has “joined the front rank of the military powers fully equipped with nuclear attack capability.”
Analysts were surprised to see six of these missiles in the parade.

“It looks like a real missile,” Lewis said. “They could go to all the trouble of manufacturing a perfect copy, but if you’re doing that, it’s just as easy to make the real missile.”

North Korea also displayed — for the first time — its KN-15, the land-based version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile, which North Korea calls the Pukguksong-2 (or “Polaris-2.”) This is also powered by solid fuel.

Nice HighRes of the Pukguksong-2 TEL's pic.twitter.com/iLVL0yujai
— Nathan J Hunt (@ISNJH) April 15, 2017

North Korea launched this missile for the first time earlier this month, firing it from a land base near Sinpo, home to a known North Korean submarine base.

The missile did not appear to go very far, but still, analysts described the development as “scary” because of the solid-fuel component.

This is what Lewis’s colleague Melissa Hanham said at the time: “Solid fuel is very significant because they can launch these missiles much faster and with a smaller entourage than with ¬liquid-fueled missiles, making them much harder for the United States, South Korea and Japan to spot from satellites.”
Another kind of ICBM?

There were black-and-white missiles that looked like KN-08s, the intercontinental ballistic missile, but slightly smaller, Lewis said. And they were rolled out on missile vehicles usually used for the medium-range Musudan missile.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported in January, citing military officials, that North Korea had probably built two ICBMs that were less than 50 feet long. That would make them shorter than the two known ICBMs, which are between 60 and 65 feet long.
“I think this is that,” said Lewis.

Another technological development.

Lewis and his team were not sure about one type of missile that was on show, painted in camouflage and transported on a tank. It could be an extended-range Scud or a Rodong, capable of flying up to 800 miles.

But what they were sure about was that the missile had fins on it, meaning that the reentry vehicle on the missile could be controlled on the way down – in other words, the warhead could be maneuvered to hit a target.

If the extended range Scud was a “super Scud,” this is a “super-duper Scud,” said Lewis.

A new tracked launcher for what looks like a Scud or Nodong. This one will take a careful examination. Control surfaces on the RV, too. pic.twitter.com/c3INJaf1Tp
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) April 15, 2017
Minor news this year.

Then there were the canisters on top of tracked vehicles that North Korea displayed at the very start of the parade. These appeared to be for anti-ship cruise missiles, a North Korean version of Russia's Kh-35 missile.

“In any other year, North Korea having a coastal defense cruise missile and showing it to us for the first time would have made us say ‘Wow’,” said Lewis. “But this year, with all this other stuff, nobody cares about something that can go only 100 or 200 km,” he said. (That’s 62 to 125 miles.)

This tracked transporter is new, but the canisters look a lot like those associated with the Kh-35 cruise missile. Compare/contrast. pic.twitter.com/wrV1MmFgWj
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) April 15, 2017
But wait, there’s more.

If this wasn’t enough, here’s one more observation. North Korea showed a large number of transporters during the parade, many of them an indigenous tank that North Korea can build at home, rather than having to import through China.
This means that North Korea increasingly has the ability to move its missiles around and, with the road-mobile missile launchers they are now favoring over old-fashioned gantries, launch them from anywhere.

As Lewis puts it: “They want us to know that their missile program is pretty far along.”


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/analysis-here-are-the-missiles-north-korea-j ust-showed-off-one-by-one/ar-BBzSr8W?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

“USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transited the Sunda Strait on 15 April 2017” (Ref. 76).
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:00 am

Quote:
Pence lands in South Korea after North's failed launch
Associated Press - By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press – April 16, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea on Sunday to begin a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threats to advance its nuclear and defense capabilities, and just after a failed missile launch by the North.

Pence arrived in the region a day after North Korea celebrated the birth anniversary of the country's late founder with a military parade showing off missiles and military hardware.

A North Korean missile exploded during launch Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, a high-profile failure that comes as a powerful U.S. aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula in a show of force.

Pence, joined by his wife, Karen, placed a wreath at Seoul National Cemetery during a brief ceremony. He was expected to join U.S. and South Korean troops for Easter Sunday church services and a dinner later in the day.

President Donald Trump has suggested that the U.S. will take a tougher stance against North Korea, telling reporters last week: "North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of." He has repeatedly said if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, is unwilling to do more to pressure the North, the U.S. might take the matter into its own hands.

Along with the deployment of the Naval aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were also deployed last month in their biggest-ever joint military exercises. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.

Despite North Korea's provocations, U.S. officials have said that the U.S. doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

After a two-month policy review, officials settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement," U.S. officials said Friday. The administration's immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.

Pence will be tasked with explaining the policy in meetings with leaders in South Korea and Japan at the start of his trip, which will also include stops in Indonesia and Australia. He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the U.S. will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.

Pence's first trip to South Korea will carry personal meaning as well. His late father, Edward, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star on April 15, 1953 — 64 years to the day of the vice president's departure for South Korea. Pence displays in his office his father's Bronze Star and a photograph of his father receiving the honor.
___
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KThomasDC


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pence-lands-in-south-korea-after-norths-fail ed-launch/ar-BBzTfVm?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:44 am

Quote:
China and Russia dispatch ships to shadow Donald Trump’s 'armada' as it approaches North Korean waters - Japanese media report
The Telegraph - By Neil Connor - April 17, 2017

China and Russia have dispatched spy vessels to shadow a US aircraft carrier group heading to North Korean waters, Japanese media said, amid rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Beijing sought Russian help in averting a crisis over North Korea last week, as concerns grow in China that Donald Trump is seeking to confront North Korea over its weapon’s program.

The US president sent a navy group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson into the region, in what is being seen as a signal to Pyongyang.

Mr Trump described the force as an “armada” and said that submarines were being sent which were “far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”

Our military is building and is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before. Frankly, we have no choice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017

The Yomiuri Shimbun, citing “multiple sources of the Japanese government”, said China and Russia had “dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the USS Carl Vinson”.

The ships are “strengthening warning and surveillance activities in the waters and airspace around the area,” Japan’s largest daily newspaper said, according to its English language sister publication, The Japan News.

It comes amid reports that tour companies in China have stopped arranging tour groups to North Korea, which had previously been a popular destination for Chinese tourists.

Media outlet thepaper.cn said several agencies had ceased organising package tours, including travel website Lumama and Ctrip – China’s biggest tour agency – which stopped group trips to North Korea at the end of 2016.

Ctrip told the Shanghai-based website that it did not know when it would resume trips to North Korea.

However, travel agencies told thepaper.cn that there had not been a notice from authorities forcing them to cancel trips to the reclusive state.

Media reported last week that China’s national carrier, Air China, suspended flights from Beijing to Pyongyang because of dwindling passengers.

Tensions have been escalating in recent weeks. A North Korean missile "blew up almost immediately" on its test launch on Sunday, US officials said.

But despite the apparent setback for Pyongyang, experts in Asia believe Mr Trump has little room for manoeuvre over North Korea, given the military deterrent Kim Jong-un’s regime has at its disposal.

Arthur Ding, a military expert based at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, said North Korea used a military parade on Saturday to show the world that “there is no way to reverse its bomb and missile program now, because, like India and Pakistan, North Korea is a de facto nuclear state.”

Mr Ding said: "Politically, it somewhat implies that the DPRK should be treated fairly - if not equally - with that of other nuclear states.”

Mike Pence, the US vice president, was on Monday visiting a military base near the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.


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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

“USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was underway in the Indian Ocean from 16 to 18 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

Quote:
Carl Vinson strike group seen near Indonesia, not the Korean peninsula

As reported on 18 April 2017, “YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan - “if the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading to the Korean peninsula, it is taking its time.

More than a week after reports first emerged that the aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships were headed toward the peninsula amid fears North Korea may conduct another nuclear test, Navy photos from Saturday show Vinson operating nearly 3,500 miles away, off Indonesia.

Defense News first reported the existence of the photos, which are freely available on the official Navy.mil website.

If traveling at maximum speed, which the Navy lists at “34.5+ mph,” it would take the carrier, two destroyers and a cruiser roughly four to five days to reach the peninsula from Indonesia’s Sunda Strait.

Submarines also regularly provide undersea cover for carrier strike groups.
U.S. Pacific Command officials in Hawaii on Monday referred questions about the strike group to Pacific Fleet, which said it does not discuss details of ship movements.

“The Carl Vinson Strike Group cancelled a previously planned port visit to Australia and is continuing on track for all assigned missions in the Western Pacific,” a statement said.
Thus far, reports on Vinson’s impending arrival in waters near South Korea have come from White House and other Washington officials. The Navy and Pacific Command haven’t dissuaded any of those reports, but never explicitly confirmed Korea as its destination or discussed a timeline.

PACOM directed the Vinson strike group “to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore on April 8 … rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia,” according to its initial statement on the move.

Soon afterward, PACOM spokesman Cmdr. Dave Benham said the strike group was ordered north “as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence.

“Third Fleet ships operate forward with a purpose: to safeguard U.S. interests in the Western Pacific.,” Benham said. The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

In an interview with President Donald Trump on Fox Business News last week, host Maria Bartiromo asked, “You redirected Navy ships to go toward the Korean Peninsula. What are we doing right now in terms of North Korea?

“You never know do you? You never know,” Trump responded.

After declining to discuss military movements initially, Trump then said that, “We are sending an armada. Very powerful.”

“We have submarines. Very powerful; far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you,” he added.

A Reuters reporter covering the Pentagon first reported April 9 that the Vinson strike group was headed toward the Korean peninsula, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

“We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official told Reuters, citing North Korea’s worrisome behavior.

The Vinson group includes the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its embarked air wing, the destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy, and the cruiser USS Lake Champlain.

Trump has stated that all options, including military action, are possible as North Korea continues to develop its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program. The communist state has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired nearly 30 missiles since last year.

A North Korean missile exploded seconds after launch Sunday, according to U.S. officials. The failure came as Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the South for talks.
Stars and Stripes reporter Wyatt Olson contributed to this report” (Ref. slavin.erik@stripes.com / Twitter:@eslavin_stripes – April 18, 2017).


https://www.stripes.com/news/carl-vinson-strike-group-seen-near-indonesia-not-th e-korean-peninsula-1.464071#.WPYxRrCGP3g
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:53 pm

Quote:
Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ was a long way from Korea

As reported on 18 April 2017, “YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — “the Carl Vinson Strike Group cancelled a previously planned port visit to Australia and is continuing on track for all assigned missions in the Western Pacific,” a statement said.

Thus far, reports on Vinson’s impending arrival in waters near South Korea have come from White House and other Washington officials. The Navy and Pacific Command haven’t dissuaded any of those reports, but never explicitly confirmed Korea as its destination or discussed a timeline.

PACOM directed the Vinson strike group “to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore on April 8 … rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia,” according to its initial statement on the move. Soon afterward, PACOM spokesman Cmdr. Dave Benham said the strike group was ordered north “as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence.

“Third Fleet ships operate forward with a purpose: to safeguard U.S. interests in the Western Pacific.,” Benham said. The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

In an interview with President Donald Trump on Fox Business News last week, host Maria Bartiromo asked, “You redirected Navy ships to go toward the Korean Peninsula. What are we doing right now in terms of North Korea? “You never know do you? You never know,” Trump responded.

After declining to discuss military movements initially, Trump then said that, “We are sending an armada. Very powerful.” “We have submarines. Very powerful; far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you,” he added. A Reuters reporter covering the Pentagon first reported April 9 that the Vinson strike group was headed toward the Korean peninsula, citing an unnamed U.S. official. “We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official told Reuters, citing North Korea’s worrisome behavior.

Trump has stated that all options, including military action, are possible as North Korea continues to develop its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program. The communist state has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired nearly 30 missiles since last year.

A North Korean missile exploded seconds after launch Sunday, according to U.S. officials. The failure came as Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the South for talks.
Stars and Stripes reporter Wyatt Olson contributed to this report” (Ref. YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan - slavin.erik@stripes.com / Twitter:@eslavin_stripes – April 17, 2017).


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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:54 pm

Quote:
Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ was a long way from Korea
The Washington Post - Simon Denyer, Emily Rauhala - April 18, 2017

BEIJING — As tensions mounted on the Korean Peninsula, Adm. Harry Harris made a dramatic announcement: An aircraft carrier had been ordered to sail north from Singapore on April 8 toward the Western Pacific.

A spokesman for the Pacific Command linked the deployment directly to the “number one threat in the region,” North Korea, and its “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters on April 11 that the Carl Vinson was “on her way up there.” Asked about the deployment in an interview with Fox Business Network that aired April 12, President Trump said: “We are sending an armada, very powerful.”
The U.S. media went into overdrive and Fox reported on April 14 that the armada was “steaming” toward North Korea.

But pictures posted by the U.S. Navy suggest that’s not quite the case — or at least not yet.
A photograph released by the Navy showed the aircraft carrier sailing through the calm waters of Sunda Strait between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java on Saturday, April 15.

In other words, on the same day that the world nervously watched North Korea stage a massive military parade to celebrate the birthday of the nation’s founder Kim Il Sung, and the press speculated about a pre-emptive U.S. strike, the U.S. Navy put the the Carl Vinson, together with its escort of two guided-missile destroyers and a cruiser, more than 3,000 miles southwest of the Korean peninsula — and more than 500 miles southeast of Singapore.

Instead of steaming towards the Korea peninsula, the carrier strike group was actually headed in the opposite direction to take part in “scheduled exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean,” according to Defense News, which broke the story.

Neither Pacific Command nor the Pacific Fleet responded immediately to requests for comment. On Monday, Pacific Fleet spokesman Cdr. Clayton Doss said only that the USS Carl Vinson and its escorts were “transiting the Western Pacific,” declining to give a more precise location except to rule out the waters around South Korea or Japan.

The presence of the U.S. carrier strike group, and the threat of a U.S. military strike on North Korea, had weighed heavily on Chinese minds and in the media here. Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned “storm clouds” were gathering and the risk of conflict rising.
The news that the ships weren’t where everyone assumed them to be was greeted with some glee in the Chinese media Tuesday.

“Tricked badly!” the Global Times exulted on its social media account. “None of the U.S. aircraft carriers that South Korea is desperately waiting for has come!”
Was it all a misunderstanding, or deliberate obfuscation?

Cai Jian, an expert from the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the whole episode was part of an elaborate game of “psychological warfare or bluffing” by the United States, arguing that Washington never really intended to launch a military strike on North Korea right now.

“At the peak of the standoff, psychological warfare is very important,” he said.
Ross Babbage, a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Strategic Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based think tank that focuses on the military, said the move may be “military signalling” from the U.S.

“It’s more than a bluff,” he said. “A bluff suggests you’re not serious. My understanding is that this U.S. administration is dead serious, it’s been 40 years of trying to get the North Koreans to back away from the nuclear weapons.”

Babbage said it was also possible the United States administration had decided to give China a little time to put its own pressure on North Korea before sending the carrier strike group north: Trump met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on April 6 and 7 and spoke by phone on April 11, and may have wanted to give the Chinese some breathing space to before “rattling the bars,” Babbage said.

Nor should the aircraft carrier’s presence, alone, be given too much weight, he added, since any early strikes on North Korea would likely have been carried out by long-range aircraft.
While the belief that the Carl Vinson was heading towards Korea was reported as fact by media outlets around the world, there were hints it was perhaps not steaming there as fast as many supposed. On April 11, USNI News reported that although the carrier had cancelled port calls in Australia, it had not canceled training events to move faster toward the Korean Peninsula, and would still take more than a week to enter waters near Korea — a point that was lost amid heated talk of “war.”

In any case, the carrier strike force may indeed be finally heading north now.

The Korea Herald reported Monday that the USS Carl Vinson is due to arrive in South Korea’s eastern waters on April 25, in time for another important date in the North Korean calendar: the anniversary of the army’s foundation. Quoting unnamed South Korean officials, the Herald said “the strike group will join the South Korean Navy in a massive maritime drill designed to counter provocation from the North.”

CNN also cited U.S. defense officials as saying the aircraft carrier will arrive off the Korean Peninsula at the end of April. Luna Lin in Beijing and Anna Fifield in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:07 pm

Aircraft Carriers Available in order of readiness, based on training and exercises

“USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) returned to Norfolk, Va. on 14 April 2017, conducting Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in support of the optimized fleet response plan off the coast of North Carolina from 30 March to 11 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS Nimitz (CVN-68) returned to Kitsap-Bremerton, Wa. on April 2017, conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) from 17 to 26 March 2017 off the coast of Southern California. Nimitz conducted operations in the Eastern Pacific from 13 to 15 March 2017, arriving Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI), San Diego, Calif. on 16 March 2017, departing on the 17th for COMPTUEX and upon conclusion, pulled in for a port of call at NASNI, San Diego, Calif. on 27 March 2017. Nimitz was underway in the Eastern Pacific on 28 March 2017, commencing COMPTUEX on the 29th through 18 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) returned to Naval Air Station, North Island (NASNI), San Diego, California on ? April 2017, concluding Tailored Ship’s Training Availability and Final Evaluation Period (TSTA/FEP) off the coast of southern California from 8 to 18 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

Deployed

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was underway in the North Arabian Sea from 13 to 20 March 2017, passing through the Gulf of Oman into the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Persian Gulf on the 21st” (Ref. 76).

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was underway in the Persian Gulf from 21 March to 11 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) made a port of call at Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Kingdom of Bahrain from 12 to 15 April 2017” (Ref. 76).

“USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was underway in the Persian Gulf from 15 to 18 April 2017” (Ref. 76).
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Re: US Flexes Its Military Muscle Off China - CVN-70 2017 Deployment
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:26 pm

Quote:
North Korea says ready to strike U.S. aircraft carrier
Reuters - By Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly

SEOUL, April 23 (Reuters) - North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a U.S. carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies.

The United States has not specified where the carrier strike group is as it approaches the area. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday it would arrive "within days" but gave no other details.

North Korea remained defiant.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

The paper likened the aircraft carrier to a "gross animal" and said a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force."

The commentary was carried on page three of the newspaper, after a two-page feature about leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a pig farm.

North Korea will mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday.

It has in the past marked important anniversaries with tests of its weapons.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two of them last year, and is working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States.

It has also carried out a series of ballistic missile tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threat is perhaps the most serious security challenge confronting Trump.

He has vowed to prevent the North from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile and has said all options are on the table, including a military strike.

WORRY IN JAPAN

North Korea says its nuclear program is for self-defense and has warned the United States of a nuclear attack in response to any aggression. It has also threatened to lay waste to South Korea and Japan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday North Korea's recent statements were provocative but had proven to be hollow in the past and should not be trusted.

"We've all come to hear their words repeatedly, their word has not proven honest," Mattis told a news conference in Tel Aviv, before the latest threat to the aircraft carrier.

Japan's show of naval force reflects growing concern that North Korea could strike it with nuclear or chemical warheads.

Some Japanese ruling party lawmakers are urging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to acquire strike weapons that could hit North Korean missile forces before any imminent attack.

Japan's navy, which is mostly a destroyer fleet, is the second largest in Asia after China's.

The two Japanese warships, the Samidare and Ashigara, left western Japan on Friday to join the Carl Vinson and will "practice a variety of tactics" with the U.S. strike group, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force said in a statement.

The Japanese force did not specify where the exercises were taking place but by Sunday the destroyers could have reached an area 2,500 km (1,500 miles) south of Japan, which would be waters east of the Philippines.

From there, it could take three days to reach waters off the Korean peninsula. Japan's ships would accompany the Carl Vinson north at least into the East China Sea, a source with knowledge of the plan said.

U.S. and South Korean officials have been saying for weeks that the North could soon stage another nuclear test, something the United States, China and others have warned against.

South Korea has put is forces on heightened alert.

China, North Korea's sole major ally which nevertheless opposes Pyongyang's weapons programs and belligerence, has appealed for calm. The United States has called on China to do more to help defuse the tension.

Last Thursday, Trump praised Chinese efforts to rein in "the menace of North Korea," after North Korean state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty preemptive strike."

(Additional reporting by Tim Kelly in TOKYO; Editing by Robert Birsel)


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-says-ready-to-strike-us-aircraft -carrier/ar-BBAatle?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
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