The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula in the wake of ongoing rhetoric from North Korea, U.S. defense officials said.
The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off, the officials said.
Still, U.S. defense officials insist that there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of another launch.
The White House on Monday said the United States hasn’t seen large-scale movements from North Korean military forces in the aftermath of harsh rhetoric from the reclusive government.
I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilizations and positioning of forces,” Carney said
On Sunday, The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea as part of military exercises in a move aimed at further deterring threats from North Korea against its neighbor.
It was unclear if the McCain was also part of the ongoing military drills.
It was earlier reported that the USS Fitzgerald, another guided missile destroyer, would be moved to the area, though it was only among the ships under consideration for the deployment.
Also Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye appeared to give her country’s military permission to strike back at any attack from the North without further word from Seoul, saying she took the North’s escalating threats “very seriously,” .