republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
North Korea engaged in its latest of a series of missile tests on May 29, as the communist state fired what was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile that flew about 280 miles before landing in Japan’s maritime economic zone. South Korean officials said that North Korea has a large stockpile of the short-range missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union.
Reuters reported that North Korea has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and cited assertions made by the communist regime that the weapons programs are necessary to counter “U.S. aggression.”
As North Korea continues to defy world opinion by aggressively developing weapons systems capable of threatening other countries, the United States is exhibiting a show of might by sending a third aircraft carrier strike force to the western Pacific region.
In a May 27 article, Voice of America (VOA) reported that the USS Nimitz will join two other aircraft carriers and their accompanying ships that make up carrier strike groups, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, in the western Pacific, according to sources that spoke with VOA’s Steve Herman.
Only the Ronald Reagan, part of Carrier Strike Group 9, which is home-ported at Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, is permanently stationed in the Western Pacific.
The Carl Vinson is home-ported in San Diego, but in mid February started what was called “routine operations” in the South China Sea. During the first half of April 2017, Strike Group 1 (of which the Carl Vinson is part) was ordered toward the Korean Peninsula amid growing concerns about North Korea’s ballistic missile program. It recently conducted training exercises with the South Korean Navy in the Western Pacific.
“We are sending an armada,” President Trump announced on April 12, voicing a clear message to North Korea that the United States would stand firm against any aggressive actions that the communist state might take.
The USS Nimitz is part of Carrier Strike Group 11 (of 12 such strike groups in the U.S. Navy), the home port of which is Naval Station Everett, in Washington State, and is being deployed from nearby Naval Base Kitsap.
The Daily Beast noted that sources have told both VOA and the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun that the deployment of the Nimitz is meant to serve as a warning to North Korea.
“The Trump administration deployed the strike force to put pressure on Pyongyang to refrain from more nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Asahi reported.
A White House press statement posted on May 28 about President Trump’s meeting that day with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Taormina, Italy, before the start of the G7 Summit talked about how the United States and Japan intend to cooperate in facing North Korea’s threatening weapons tests:
VOA cited a statement from the Missile Defense Agency that the exercise will test an existing missile defense system to try to intercept an ICBM. The Pentagon has used the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to intercept other types of missiles, but never an ICBM.
The GMD has been inconsistent, noted the report, succeeding in only nine of 17 attempts against missiles without intercontinental range capability since 1999.
We also discussed the U.S. GMD system in our May 22 article about North Korea’s missile tests. We commented on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s call for stronger sanctions against North Korea by noting:
It is encouraging that VOA (which is a U.S. government-funded news source) cited the same statistics related to the GMD’s unreliability that we noted in our earlier report. If our government recognizes this fact and intends to develop a better anti-ICBM system, it will go a long way toward protecting Americans from North Korea’s threats.
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