3 US strike forces converging east of Korea » Manila Bulletin News



A situation may be brewing in the Korean area.

A week after the latest of several ballistic missile  tests aimed,  North Korean officials  said, at  reaching the  United  States mainland,  they  announced the mass production of a new anti- aircraft weapon system and its deployment  throughout  the  country.

It  has  also successfully tested an intermediate-range  missile,  but   its  principal defense  program, they said, is  still the development of  a nuclear-armed long-range missile capable of reaching the US.  If left unchecked, North  Korea   is on an “inevitable path” to  achieving  this  goal, the head of the US Defense Intelligence  Agency warned.

President Donald Trump has now ordered a third aircraft carrier – the USS Nimitz – to  proceed  to the West Pacific  area  where  there are already two big US warships with their attack groups.  The aircraft carrier  USS  Ronald  Reagan had been ordered  earlier  to the area,  followed by the USS Carl Vinzon. It  is  rare for the US to deploy three strike forces in one area of the world,  a Voice of America  newscaster said.

North  Korea’s  constant  broadcast barrages  against the US had long been met by the  US with some indifference. However,  after  President  Trump won election  last November,  he appeared  set on doing something  about  it.  First  he  sought  the help of President Xi-Jinping  of  China, North Korea’s   top  ally  in Asia.  China’s efforts to restrain North  Korea  leader  Kim  Jong  Un, however, do not seem to have had any success.

Last  April, President Trump  surprised the world  when he ordered two US destroyers  in  the Mediterranean Sea to rain Cruise missiles on a Syrian airport  from which  government planes  had launched  a chemical weapons  attack on rebels and civilians  in Syria.  A week later,  he  ordered  the bombing  of caves  and  tunnels  from which Islamic State terrorists had been raiding Afghanistan.

This  should   dispel any doubt   that the new US president  will be just like the previous one, who  had made it   his policy  to bring home  Americans still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Trump has already given China   due  warning   about  his  intention, just  as he gave advance word  to Russia before  he bombed  Syria.

With three big  aircraft  carriers  leading  three  strike forces converging  on  the sea east of Korea,  we can only  expect President Trump to order some action very  soon.  We must hope that it will be a limited-action attack, as in Syria and Afghanistan,   lest  it spread  to involve a  wider area in  this part of our  planet.

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