Tensions are rising in North Korea following the deployment of several U.S. F-18 fighter jets from the flight deck of the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson.
According to Reuters, the jets were a display of U.S. firepower over South Korean seas, which could have been a direct result of North Korea’s firing of four ballistic missiles into Japanese waters last week.
“While this is a routine deployment for the Carl Vinson strike group, really the centerpiece for us … is this exercise we’re doing with the ROK Navy called ‘Foal Eagle,'” Rear Admiral James W. Kilby, commander of the Carrier Strike Group 1, told reporters.
North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, responded to the strike group by saying it was a “reckless scheme” of attack.
“If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater,” the North’s state news agency KCNA said.
“On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army,” KCNA added.
China has also made it known that they are against the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system, Reuters reports. The country said the system could compromise its own security.
China has called on North Korea to stop testing its weapons and for the U.S. and South Korea to stop performing drills.
“We hope the relevant side can respect the security concerns of countries in the region, can take a responsible attitude and do more to benefit the easing of tension, rather than irritating each other,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.
According to Reuters, U.S. and South Korea began deployment of the system directly following North Korea’s decision to release ballistic missiles last week.
It is reported U.S. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson will make his first visit to South Korea on Friday,
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U.S. takes action against possible North Korean attack