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U.S. pressures N.K. by sending aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan to the East Sea

U.S. pressures N.K. by sending aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan to the East Sea

Posted May. 17, 2017 07:24,   

Updated May. 17, 2017 07:34


The international community is accelerating its moves to sanction and pressure North Korea after the North’s test launch of Hwasong-12, an intermediate range ballistic missile, has been confirmed.

The Japanese media including the Asahi Shimbun reported that the U.S. shifted on Tuesday its nuclear aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to the East Sea from Yokosuka in Japan. The aircraft carrier departed from the base with about 3,100 crewmembers on board around 1:30 p.m. on the day. “There is a chance that the USS Ronald Reagan will switch duty with the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that is already on surveillance mission in the East Sea, or form a two-ship arrangement,” a source in the Japanese government said. The Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan (102,000 metric tons) is nicknamed a "sailing military base" because it can carry more than 80 airplanes.

“The president looks forward to having a new conversation with the new president and discussing the way forward," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer in his regular press briefing on Monday (local time). Citing an anonymous source in the U.S. Defense Department, the conservative media outlet Washington Free Beacon reported on the day the Pentagon judges that North Korea conducted a test to check technology for the missile’s reentry into the atmosphere, a centerpiece of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

“(North Korea’s) act is violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions to sanction Pyongyang, and poses threat to peace and stability in the region (Northeast Asia),” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement on Monday. “North Korea should faithfully fulfill its responsibilities demanded by the international community and return the path towards denuclearization.” UN chiefs used to issue statements criticizing the North’s nuclear tests, but it is a rare move to issue a separate statement on firing of a ballistic missile, according to UN sources. The UN Security Council also adopted in a unanimous vote a press statement through individual review on the day.

Won-Jae Jang peacechaos@donga.com · Seung-Heon Lee ddr@donga.com