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by Michael Steinberg
Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017 at 4:09 PM
US Navy warships based in San Diego are moving towards North Korean waters as tensions rise across the region.
San Diego warships leading charge against North Korea
Michael Steinberg Black Rain Press
US Navy warships based in San Diego are moving towards North Korean waters as tensions rise across the region. Led by the USS aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, whose homeport is North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego harbor, this "strike group" had been heading towards Australia after taking part in "routine" military exercises off the Korean peninsula when it was suddenly ordered back following the US cruise missile attack in Syria recently.
The Vinson is powered by two nuclear reactors, and armed with anti-aircraft and anti-missile missiles. The US has raised concerns that North Korea may fire off a missile soon as a rationale for sending the strike force back. For its part North Korea Vice Minister Hong Song Ryal told the Associated Press on April 14 that Trump's hostile tweets and the strike force's return have put his country on a war footing. "We will go to war if we choose." he said.
The Vinson also carries about 100 fighter jets and helicopters. Most of these consist of F18 Super Hornet attack jets that "can carry a wide array of bombs and jets," according to Wikipedia.
The Vinson has been accompanied by the guided missile destroyers Meyer and Murphy, and the guided missile cruiser Lake Champlain. These warships are also based in San Diego, and they all carry multiple cruise missiles.
On April 13 the US military publication Stars and Stripes reported that two more guided missile destroyers, the Sterett and Dewey, were being sent from Hawaii to join the Vinson force, carrying more cruise missiles to add this array of weapons of mass destruction. These warships are home-ported in San Diego as well.
And on April 12 The Guardian UK reported that "Japan is preparing to send several destroyers to join the US aircraft carrier group heading for the Korean peninsula." The report mentioned that a "submarine is expected to join the group" too. San Diego is headquarters for US Pacific attack submarines, also armed with cruise missiles. Japan formerly militarily occupied Korea and made it its colony.
Sources: Navy Times, navytimes.com;Stars and Stripes, stripes.com; GuardianUK,guardian.com; Associated Press;ap.com.
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