April 10, 2017 09:15
The U.S. on Sunday abruptly dispatched the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its fleet to the western Pacific near the Korean Peninsula.
The Vinson was making a port call in Singapore and was scheduled to sail for Australia when U.S. Pacific Command ordered the ships to sail north instead.
The show of force is aimed at preventing North Korean provocations and came as a lackluster summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping wrapped up.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the two presidents "had extensive discussions around the dangerous situation in North Korea" and Xi "clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken."
The Vinson carries about 80 aircraft, including FA-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. It leads a fleet of seven Aegis vessels -- five destroyers and two cruisers -- and two Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Their missiles are capable of hitting targets 1,300 to 2,500 km away with pinpoint accuracy.
The saber-rattling exercise comes hard on the heels of abrupt U.S. airstrikes on Syria after evidence that embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in the civil war there.
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