China won't confirm US claim of new pressure on North Korea

USS Carl Vinson with Japanese destroyers JS Ashigara and JS Samidare

While the strike group escorts carry Tomahawk missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles and the carrier has aircraft capable of jamming radar and executing air strikes, the outlet reported, it remained vulnerable to a ballistic missile attack.

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is now in Philippine Sea, off Okinawa, conducting combined aviation exercises with Japan Air Self-Defense Forces. "North Korea is not a Syria, it's not an Iraq, the consequences could be extremely high".

Norwegian foreign minister Borge Brende said on Saturday on Twitter that "new missile test violates SC (Security Council) resolution".

An ill-timed news release by the Navy's Third Fleet created the impression that the carrier was headed north immediately, but in reality it was steaming south to join the Australian navy in a secretive, truncated exercise in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

While the four-star admiral was confident the strike group could withstand any attack by North Korea, his long-term outlook on the growing threat from the country's nuclear weapons program was less optimistic.

He said the US would not hesitate to sanction other countries that support the North's illegal activities.

"I'm not as certain about this as you are that North Korea won't do something precipitous", Harris said.

North Korea also in April celebrates the anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung, and the founding of its army.

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However, a pre-emptive attack is unlikely, U.S. officials have said, and the administration is pursuing a strategy of putting pressure on Pyongyang with assistance from China, North Korea's main trading partner and the country's economic lifeline.

A photo accompanying the AP article showed the San Diego based destroyer Meyer during joint exercises with the USA and South Korea military.

The same source emphasized that they will try tactical actions of all kinds before going to the north and approach the Korean peninsula, surrounded by more than 50 submarines of the two countries, China, Russia and South Korea.

"Their main goal is to keep the Americans from doing something insane and see if they can drag the North Koreans back to the negotiating process where they can reduce the level of tensions".

In response to the escalation of the situation in the region, the United States sent a naval group led by U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula.

The guided-missile submarine USS Michigan is also now in port at Busan, South Korea.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's support for United Nations sanctions on the North but repeatedly avoided giving a direct answer when asked at a daily press briefing about what other plans China might be considering. However, China and Russian Federation have opposed the deployment, who see it as also equalizing their nuclear deterrents. "I won't say that they will, but I don't share your confidence that they won't".

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