Sydney, April 22 (IANS) US Vice President Mike Pence said here on Saturday that an aircraft carrier strike group led by USS Carl Vinson will arrive in the Sea of Japan by the end of April, a media report said.
“Our expectation is that they will be in position in the Sea of Japan in a matter of days, before the end of this month,” he told at a joint presser with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Xinhua news agency reported.
The aircraft carrier will arrive in waters near the Korean peninsula early next week.
The carrier and its strike group is to sail to areas near North Korea after completing its training mission with the Australian Navy, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is currently stationed at the US military base in Yokosuka, Japan, but is undergoing maintenance and would not be able to be deployed immediately in the event of an emergency.
Maintenance work on the carrier is one of the reasons why the US military is keen to “leave no gap” in Northeast Asia, the report stated.
The US is also strengthening its reinforcements ahead of April 25, when North Korea is expected to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.
Experts have stated there is a possibility North Korea could conduct a sixth nuclear test, the Japanese media reported.
North Korea has said it is not afraid of the Carl Vinson, following reports the aircraft carrier and its strike group had not been deployed to the Korean peninsula as announced.
“The closer it approaches, the greater the impact of the effect of annihilating punishment,” the Pyongyang statement read. “We will not allow survival for those who threaten our existence.”
The US Navy said on Friday a Carl Vinson fighter pilot was safely ejected during training in the Celebes Sea. The pilot suffered no injuries and was rescued by helicopter, according to CNN.