U.S. keeps close watch as N. Korea threats escalate
The Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula because of rhetoric from North Korea, Defense officials said.
The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off, the officials said.
Defense officials insist that there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of an attack.
The White House on Monday said the United States hasn't seen large-scale movements from North Korean military forces.
“I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilizations and positioning of forces,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
Lt. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, said the ships were moving into position “to monitor any potential missile launch or provocative actions by North Korea and to reassure regional allies.”
The McCain is the only missile-defense-capable ship monitoring North Korean launches. In December, at the time of the long-range multistage North Korean rocket launch, four Navy ballistic missile capable ships were on station. The December test demonstrated the regime had the capability of launching an intercontinental missile capable of striking Alaska or Hawaii, though there is no evidence such missiles can carry nuclear warheads.
A Defense official noted that moving a ship into “the box” to be ready to attempt to intercept a North Korean launch has become standard as tensions rise.
South Korea President Park Geun-hye called for “strong retaliation” against provocations from North Korea.
Park said the country's military should “make a strong and swift response in initial combat without any political considerations.”
Victor Cha, a Korea analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the comments from President Park appeared to be designed to balance out her promises last week of food aid.
“It is so she doesn't look weak or wishy-washy,” Cha said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ukraine: Russian aid convoy is a ‘direct invasion’
- Gaza militants kill 18 alleged spies for Israel
- Pentagon expects ISIS will regroup
- Tropical disturbance heads toward Caribbean
- Liberian slum sealed off as Ebola deaths mount
- Hamas insists terrorist leader still alive despite Israeli barrage
- European Union offers to manage Gaza’s border crossings, assure Israel’s security
- U.S. airstrikes help reverse terrorists’ blitz
- Social media being used to help catch British terrorist who killed Foley
- Ukrainian troops regaining control