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  HOME | USA

Japan Sends Warships to Support US Maritime Maneuvers off Korean Peninsula

TOKYO – Japan sent on Friday a support fleet that will join the United States nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group in the maneuvers they will soon carry out in the waters of the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula.

The destroyers “Ashigara” and “Samidare” sailed Friday from the Sasebo port in Nagasaki prefecture in southwest Japan, to join the Carl Vinson fleet, which is currently sailing towards the Korean peninsula and is expected to arrive at the end of April, according to local broadcaster NHK, which also broadcast images of the ships.

A Defense Ministry spokesperson, when contacted by EFE, avoided confirming or denying this information, although he said that Tokyo is studying the possibility to participate in the maneuvers, details of which will not be made public.

Washington announced two weeks ago that it had ordered to deploy the aircraft carrier on the Korean peninsula, a measure that was taken as a warning to Pyongyang’s arms development program, although the carrier first participated in joint exercises with Australia in the Indian Ocean and is currently on its way to the Sea of Japan.

The misleading announcement was made by the US Pacific Command (PACOM) and seconded by US President Donald Trump on Twitter saying that the US was sending a very powerful armada and until April 20 the White House gave no explanations on the issue.

Seoul is also mulling to participate in the combined naval drills to be held from April 25-28.

Tensions escalated in the region since the beginning of April, after Washington hinted at a preemptive strike against Pyongyang which was followed by a new, but failed, missile test on April 16 by North Korea.

Experts also fear the Kim Jong-un regime is preparing for a new underground nuclear test over the next few days after satellite photos of heightened activities in the Punggye-ri nuclear test center, in northeast North Korea, surfaced.

 

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