Two days after hitting a Syrian airbase to punish the Assad regime for a suspected chemical attack, the USA is flexing its military muscle again - this time for the attention of North Korea.
You may recall the recent response to the USA and South Korea conducting drills with the USS Carl Vinson, a Navy supercarrier with nuclear capability, being involved.
According to NBC News, top-ranking intelligence and military officials say returning USA nuclear weapons to South Korea after 25 years is one of the moves under consideration by the Council. The North has been particularly aggressive in recent months, responding with hostility to U.S.
The North has conducted five nuclear tests, including two past year, and test-fired almost 30 ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning it from using the technology.
McMaster described the US decision to send the Carl Vinson Strike Group to safeguard USA interests in the Western Pacific as "prudent". -China talks could bear progress in the North Korean nuclear issue, the ministry noted.
Trump has recently threatened unilateral action against Pyongyang if Beijing fails to help curb its neighbor's nuclear weapons program. Among the topics of discussion was the vexing problem of North Korea. At that time, Trump told Abe that the United States considers that all options are on the table in dealing with the North.
The North perceives US and South Korean maneuvers as preparations for an invasion.
Earlier this month, Trump suggested the US might take action unilaterally if China wasn't willing to do more.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, without directly naming North Korea, told ABC News, "If you violate global agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken". He also reiterated that Washington was prepared to take its "own course" if China did not apply more pressure on Pyongyang.
Another option would be to perform military exercises as a show of force in the region, using strategic bombers and practicing long range strikes, with the potential to take out some of North Korea's key military infrastructure. He said that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at their summit in Florida last week that Pyongyang's "provocative behavior" developing nuclear weapons was unacceptable. Still, "the Carl Vinson's move toward the Korean peninsula is probably a decision they made some time ago as part of the Foal Eagle joint military drills".
The statement said that North Korea, which regards Syria as an ally, was not surprised that this U.S. military attack was a "warning to us" and that it was another example that "we have to defend ourselves against imperialist aggressions".
The United States maintains about 28,500 servicemembers in South Korea and some 50,000 in Japan. It was accused of having its leader's half brother, Kim Jong Nam, assassinated with VX nerve agent at a Malaysian airport on February 13.
Hagiuda, who listened in on the conversation, said Trump did not mention a basis for concluding that the deadly attack was indeed carried out by the Syrian government as claimed.