RUSSIAN, CHINESE SHIPS TAIL USS CARL VINSON IN EAST CHINA SEA
BEIJING AND MOSCOW HAVE LAUNCHED INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING VESSELS TO FOLLOW THE USS CARL VINSON AIRCRAFT CARRIER AS IT TRAVELS TOWARD THE KOREAN PENINSULA, ACCORDING TO NUMEROUS SOURCES IN THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT.
© REUTERS/ Yonhap
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its group are believed to be in waters around the East China Sea, heading north toward the Korean Peninsula.
China and Russia, which prioritize stability on the Korean Peninsula, have expressed their concern over the tough US stance towards North Korea, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying the issue should be resolved peacefully through political and diplomatic efforts.
The dispatch of the intelligence-gathering vessels may be aimed at sending a warning signal to the United States, reports have speculated.
No official comments from the Russian Defense Ministry were available at the time of publication.
According to media reports, North Korea had not called off a new nuclear test, despite the recent failure on the 105th anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il-sung, the late founder of the Republic. The US carrier is believed to have been dispatched to increase military pressure on North Korea and urge Pyongyang to reconsider its military aspirations.
North Korea has already threatened to destroy the carrier in the case of US military aggression.
“The closer large targets, such as the nuclear carrier, come to our shores, the more effective will be our devastating strike,” the North Korean defense ministry statement read, according to various media reports.