President Trump's “tough as nails” approach and his willingness to use military force to show strength has finally become a reality since he's been in office, with increasing air strikes in Yemen, calling for more attacks on the Islamic State in Mosul, the start of a new offense in Raqqa, last week's cruise missile strike against a Syrian airfield, the deployment of attack drones to the North Korean border, and now, sending the Navy carrier Carl Vinson Strike Group to the East China Sea near the "Hermit Kingdom."
Just like the response from Iran, Russia, and Syria this week; #North Korea already sees the sending of the U.S. Navy carriers as a sign of aggression, a country which often threatens to fire nuclear missiles at American targets and at their allies in the region as a response.
This recent deployment follows what's mostly been seen as rhetoric from the Trump administration, that has said they would act on their own against the North if other regional states didn't do something about them. China has reportedly started putting pressure on their Korean neighbor but it's done nothing to stop the momentum built up by the U.S. military.
Last week as Blasting News reported, Chinese President Xi Jinping spent a few days with Trump at his Mar-A-Lago resort as he attacked a Syrian airbase in retaliation to Assad's chemical attack against civilians on April 4. While the Chinese government claims that it did not distract them from their initial agenda – as the article states – it was reported that Trump might put pressure on Xi to either do something about North Korea or the U.S would take action.
Sending a strike group as initially announced by U.S. Pacific Command is a clear indication that Trump's White House is willing to follow through.
Sending a Democrat to do a Republican's job
As described by one CBS News report, “The carrier group includes the aircraft carrier #Uss Carl Vinson, with support from several missile destroyers and missile cruisers,” which departed from Singapore on April 8.
Pacific Command said that the carrier would not be stopping at any ports on the way there. The report reminds us that there is always a U.S. Navy presence in the region as a consistant show of force to North Korea. The group has reportedly already been in various exercises and drills with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Navy. In an article by Fox News titled: "'Powerful' USS Carl Vinson steams toward North Korea," President Trump said of the group, "We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier."
Since their deployment from Singapore, its been reported that the U.S. president had spoken with South Korea's Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn and that Japan sent their destroyers to meet up with the group. Fox News' article also goes into more details about the Carl Vinson carrier, saying that it's named after a Democrat who was in the House of Representatives for more than 50-years. He was more insistent on military strength and therefore more hawkish than a majority of Democrats are today. The carrier named after him is also considered America's favorite carrier, which symbolically comes at a time when politics and social issues are divided along party lines. #Donald Trump's presidency is a sign of this as his controversial position and extremist views put more weight to guide the Republican platform. Trump has refused to work with Democrats along with other Republicans as Democrats hold the minority.
North Korea responds
According to the Korean Central News Agency, on Monday, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry threatened “catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.” But various reports said that the threat applies if the U.S. makes any moves after the group arrives, suggesting that the arrival of the group itself – while a sign of hostility – would not trigger a response. This would also point to the mentioned fact that there is already an American military presence nearby. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un was at the at the Supreme People's Assembly on Tuesday where domestic issues were discussed. But because they do not allow reporters to cover the session, there is little information as to whether there were discussions about foreign aggression. However, celebrations for the 105 birthday of the country's founder Kim Il-sung on Saturday did have a large military parade where they showed off missiles that experts say could reach the U.S. It was suggested that they could complete their sixth underground nuclear test during the celebration but they didn't.
Even before Donald Trump became president, the previous administration was also tested by Pyongyang with missiles fired while President Obama had traveled to the region. North Korea's missile launches were reportedly fired into the Sea of Japan and there were also other reports of the country's underground nuclear testing – the recent one last September -- saying that “it produced a more powerful explosive yield than previous detonations” according to one report by the New York Times. Into Trump's presidency, they've increased their ballistic missile testing and carried out the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un's half-brother in Malaysia last month. This appeared to be a series of family purges which were ordered by the nation's leader since taking power after the death of his father, who also ruled North Korea, Kim Jong-il. There is still another celebration expected before the end of April, when experts expect North Korea to try again.