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LEADERS and THE ACT_ Tensions at ‘tipping point’: Why Donald Trump had to act on North Korea now


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Tensions at ‘tipping point’: Why Donald Trump had to act on North Korea now

April 11, 2017  11:09am

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson surrounded by guided-missile destroyers. Picture: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kurtis A Hatcher

James Law

NORTH Korea has warned it is ready for “war” as tensions with the United States continue to escalate.

American forces announced yesterday that the USS Carl Vinson, loaded with fighter jets, had been pulled from its planned military exercises in Australia and ordered towards the Korean Peninsula. Three guided-missile destroyers and cruisers joined the armada, which left from Singapore on Saturday.

According to military and intelligence sources who spoke to The New York Times, the US’s show of force was timed around the most important day on the North Korean calendar, the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, who founded the nation and is the late grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea is less than impressed. In its response to America’s naval movements today, the regime’s foreign ministry said the US’s “reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase,” and issued the warning that it was ready for war, AFP reported.

“The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,” North Korea’s state-run news agency said.

US Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, is moving towards the western Pacific Ocean to provide a physical presence near the Korean Peninsula. Picture: Jo Jung-ho/Yonhap via APSource:AP

The rogue state has a history of launching missiles and taking provocative actions on the anniversary, and satellite imagery suggests Kim Jong-un might take the opportunity to flex his military muscles on April 15.

South Korea’s top nuclear envoy Kim Hong-Kyun has backed up the theory, warning that the North may stage a “strategic provocation” to mark the date.

The US has notified Australia that it is prepared to shoot down any missiles launched on Saturday and the Pine Gap military intelligence base in central Australia is on standby, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr Trump is emboldened after his widely endorsed air strike against a Syria last week, where he ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles to bomb an air base in response to a chemical weapons attack in the country that killed more than 80 civilians, including children.



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