Now that the USS Carl Vinson is getting near the coast of the Korean peninsula, it’s picked up some very undesirable followers.
The Japan News reported Sunday that two intelligence-gathering vessels from both Russia and China have been dispatched to follow the Carl Vinson’s carrier strike group.
A Japanese official told The Japan News’ parent publication, The Yomiuri Shimbun, that it appears the two nations are looking to probe the actions of the carrier strike group as it arrives off the coast of troubled North Korea.
The news came after reports of a failed missile launch the day after North Korea’s “Day of the Sun,” a celebration of the birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, according to CNN.
The New York Times has warned that North Korea’s nuclear sites also appear primed for a nuclear weapons test. That test, if it occurred, would be the sixth from the pariah nuclear state.
While many speculated that the Day of the Sun would be the ideal time for such a test to take place, North Korea will also be celebrating the 85th anniversary of its military’s foundation later this month; such an event would also provide another occasion for the Kim regime to conduct such a test.
The Trump administration has promised a hard line on North Korea’s recent spate of missile tests. In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, President Donald Trump said that the Carl Vinson’s deployment to the region was just the beginning.
“We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,” Trump said. “We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: He is doing the wrong thing.”
While neither China nor Russia are necessarily allies of Kim Jong Un’s regime, both have prioritized stability when dealing with North Korea. However, President Trump and his administration have made it clear that American relations with China would hinge in part on its ability to exert pressure on North Korea to stop weapons testing.
After Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, it looked as if his administration might have been making headway in that department. Sunday’s news suggests that we still have a long way to go.
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