News / Asia

US Naval Strike Group Shrugs off Pyongyang Threats

US Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Shrugs Off North Korean Threatsi
X
October 20, 2013 10:32 AM
North Korea this month lashed out at maritime rescue exercises involving U.S., South Korean and Japanese forces. State media called the trilateral exercises a prelude to war and said they were timed to destroy dialogue between the two Koreas.

US Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Shrugs Off North Korean Threats

Daniel Schearf
North Korea this month lashed out at maritime rescue exercises involving U.S., South Korean and Japanese forces. State media called the trilateral exercises a prelude to war and said they were timed to destroy dialogue between the two Koreas.
 
The bellicose vitriol specifically targeted the USS George Washington, one of the U.S. Navy’s 10 so-called "supercarriers," the largest warships ever built.
 
The shrill language was typical for North Korean media, threatening that the nearer the carrier group comes the Korean peninsula, the closer it comes to an “unpredictable” and “horrible disaster.”
 
Two days after the drills ended, strike group commander Admiral Mark Montgomery shrugged off the rhetoric. Speaking before several invited reporters, he said “for us, we haven't changed our operational tempo or changed the manner or scope with which we're training our forces,” adding that he would “leave it to higher authorities to discuss what the implications of any specific North Korean actions are."
 
Routine rhetoric for routine drills
 
While North Korea routinely denounces U.S.-led military drills, Admiral Montgomery says the exercises are key to maintaining readiness.
 
The exercises also smooth communications among militaries from Japan and South Korea.
 
“There's always going to be challenges with different subtleties in the way we communicate," said Commanding Officer Captain Greg Fenton. "But, as a whole, we're very successful in overcoming those kinds of difficulties."
 
The George Washington leads the U.S. Navy's largest and only permanent forward-deployed strike group, which is based in Yokosuka, Japan. The nuclear-powered supercarrier carries about 80 aircraft and 6,000 crew and it is accompanied by nine warships, including cruisers, frigates and destroyers with ballistic missile defense.
 
According to Shin In-kyun of the private policy group Korea Defense Network, such firepower in the neighborhood draws a fierce reaction from Pyongyang.
 
“I think North Korea came up with the provocative words because North Korea’s military position would be weak if they do not do anything to warn about the movement of the USS George Washington," he said.
 
U.S. plans to increase its military presence in the Asia Pacific region could bring more warships to these waters, a concern to China, which has been building up its own navy while asserting territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.
 
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises back to port after its first navy sea trial in Dalian, northeastern China, Oct. 30, 2012.Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises back to port after its first navy sea trial in Dalian, northeastern China, Oct. 30, 2012.
x
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises back to port after its first navy sea trial in Dalian, northeastern China, Oct. 30, 2012.
Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises back to port after its first navy sea trial in Dalian, northeastern China, Oct. 30, 2012.
Beijing last year launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. When asked how his strike group would react if China used the vessel to provoke U.S. forces, Admiral Montgomery implied that the scenario is unlikely.
 
“The United States' and China's navies cooperate very closely on a lot of issues,” he says. “So, the idea that we'd be planning for any specific thing like that is inappropriate."
 
China has been conducting its own drills on the re-fitted Russian-made carrier and claims to have had “hundreds” of successful launches and landings by its domestically produced jet fighters, including in bad weather and with the maximum load of weapons.
 
When asked to comment on China's aircraft carrier preparations, Montgomery says, “Aircraft carrier operations are a complex event and I'm sure that they're studying hard on it.
 
"[But] the United States looks at things more from our own capability and capacity," he adds. "We do these routine operations here... and we're very comfortable with our operational capability, with our readiness."
 
With just 20 aircraft carriers active around the world, the ships are symbols of both national prestige and powerful military assets, which is part of the reason why nations such as China and India are now launching their own.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid