A U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News that the Navy had moved the U.S. destroyer to a location near South Korea. The ship, the USS McCain, is equipped with the Aegis defense system and is capable of shooting down missiles.
‘Steadily escalating threats’
The defense official said the decision is not part of the ongoing joint military exercise with South Korea but part of the Navy’s general movements. The Navy had the same type of ship in this location as recently as December. But, the positioning comes after the Pentagon dispatched two F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea to join Seoul forces in a training exercise, and after other demonstrations of U.S. capability last week.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Kim Jong Un’s steadily escalating threats follow a “pattern,” but one that must be taken seriously. He said the U.S. is now taking “prudent” measures to “reassure our allies, demonstrate our resolve to the North and reduce pressure on Seoul to take unilateral action.”
‘State of war’
This would include efforts to boost missile defense, last week’s rare flight of B-2 bombers to South Korea and likely the decision Sunday to deploy F-22 Raptors to Osan Air Base in South Korea. With analysts warning that the biggest threat from North Korea is that it could start a war by going too far and provoking South Korea, Carney suggested the shows of strength are aimed at deterring the North from crossing that line.
Carney, though, said that despite the “harsh rhetoric” out of Pyongyang, the U.S. is not seeing changes to the country’s “military posture,” such as any “large-scale” mobilizations or positioning of forces. The F-22 flight came after North Korea warned that the Korean Peninsula had entered “a state of war.”
Is a war likely to erupt between the two Koreas? Will Kim Jong Un carry out his threats to the U.S. and its allies?
Source: Fox News
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