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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid