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Vinson carrier group expected off Korea in late April
20 April 2017, 06:45 | Kelvin Horton
US President Donald Trump has sent a navy group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson into the region as a signal to the secretive dictatorship about its nuclear programme. Sending aircrafts and other military assets near that area is not unusual for the USA and just recently the Vinson was in South Korea for military exercises.
When forces under North Korean leader Kim il-Sung invaded the south in 1950, the newly formed United Nations, led by the U.S., intervened to stop the south falling to Kim's version of nationalistic communism.
Following the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founding father, on April 15, North Korea will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its military on April 25.
Pravda, a news site closely affiliated with Russian intelligence, believes North Korea will conduct a regular missile test on April 25th. "And that could be a logical conclusion from what's just happened", said North Korea expert Joel Wit at the 38 North monitoring group, run by Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. But a week after the USA announced the carrier and its escorts would leave Singapore, forego port calls in Australia and instead return to Korean waters, the carrier and its group had yet to head north. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that both Trump and Xi agreed on the "urgency of the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapon program" and also both agreed to work on it together to peacefully solve the issue. "That I can tell you".
Those same officials did not push back on reports that the Vinson would return to Korean waters, where the strike group operated for much of March as part of the annual U.S.
The U.S. military initially said in a statement dated April 10 that Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of Pacific Command, directed the Carl Vinson strike group "to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific".
North Korea has defied repeated economic sanctions and worldwide pressure over its nuclear regime, which saw it carry out two tests in 2016 and one so far this year, and has vowed a "merciless response" to any USA provocation.
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