The military is on the move, and is heading to the North Korean Peninsula.
President Trump has just deployed the second nuclear aircraft carrier, and this one is carrying some 7,500 U.S. military personnel.
Is this the “calm before the storm?”
From Zero Hedge
Just one week after uttering his now-infamous “this is the calm before the storm” statement to the press ahead of a dinner with military leaders, we now learn that President Trump has dispatched a second nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, filled with 7,500 marines, to the Korean Peninsula. Of course, this comes after rumors swirled earlier this week that North Korea is preparing to fire multiple short-range rockets around the opening of the Chinese Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18th.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, is en route to the western Pacific after leaving San Diego port last week.
The Roosevelt will focus on maritime security operations in the Pacific and Middle East, the US military announced.
But the £3.4billion ($4.5billion) warship, known as “the Big Stick”, has been sent to boost US defence on the Korean peninsula, according to South Korean media.
It is expected to arrive in region in the coming weeks amid fears North Korea is about to test another missile or nuclear weapon.
Per the following map from Stratfor, the USS Theodore Roosevelt will join the USS Ronald Reagan which is already operating in the region.
According to a statement from Admiral Steve Koehler, a strike group commander on the ship, the Roosevelt is carrying some 7,500 sailors and marines that are “ready as a war fighting force”.
“The US Navy carrier strike group is the most versatile, capable force at sea,” he said in a statement before the ship’s launch.
“After nearly a year of training and integration exercises, the entire team is ready as a warfighting force and ready to carry out the nation’s tasking.”
Of course, as we noted above, this buildup of naval forces in the Pacific follows an ominous warning from the President last week that preceded a dinner with military leaders: “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” he said: “It could be the calm… before… the storm.”
US Sends One Of The World’s Most Powerful Subs To Korea Amid Rising Tensions
FILE PHOTO: The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan arrives for a regularly scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the Western Pacific in Busan, South Korea, April 24, 2017. Jermaine Ralliford/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
One of the most powerful conventional weapons in the U.S. arsenal is making a port call in South Korea.
The Ohio-class, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine USS Michigan arrived in Busan Friday, according to multiple reports. While the Navy asserts that this is a routine visit, part of a regularly scheduled deployment, the timing is noteworthy.
The USS Michigan visited South Korea for the first time this year in April during a tense period where many suspected North Korea might conduct a nuclear test, triggering a military strike. The submarine’s current port call also comes at a time of great tension between Washington and Pyongyang.
North Korea tested a suspected hydrogen bomb early last month, announcing in the aftermath that it intends to mount the weapon on its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. Later, President Donald Trump delivered a heated speech before the U.N. General Assembly, warning that if the North attacks the U.S. or an American ally, the U.S. military will “totally destroy” North Korea. The president’s rhetoric triggered an unprecedented personal response from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who threatened to tame Trump with fire.
North Korean officials and state media have claimed that the president declared war against the rogue regime in his speech, although it is not uncommon for North Korea to perceive slights as declarations of war.
The U.S. has sent B-1B Lancers, elite conventional bombers that terrify Pyongyang, tearing past the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea has threatened to open fire on American aircraft that get too close.
In recent weeks, Trump has dismissed negotiations as a practical solution, asserting that North Korea only understands one thing. The president did not clarify his statement, but he may have been referencing pressure, if not the application of military force. The Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan has drilled with Japanese naval forces and will conduct joint drills with South Korea next week.
The 560-foot-long, 18,000-ton USS Michigan is armed with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, each with a range of around 900 miles and a 1,000-pound high-explosive warhead. The submarine, which served as a sea-based nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, rivals full-sized aircraft carriers in terms of destructive power.
The USS Michigan could theoretically be used for a first strike against North Korea, but there is presently no indication that it was sent to carry out a strike on the rogue regime.
The deployment of strategic military assets to the Korean Peninsula has Pyongyang up in arms and furious. North Korea declared that the deployment of bombers, submarines, and aircraft carriers to the peninsula “compel the DPRK to take military counteraction.” The regime has moved its hand is closer to the trigger, claiming that it will tame the U.S. and its allies with fire.