Photo courtesy of Prachatai via Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Last week the White House ordered an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan in an attempt to send a clear deterrent to North Korea and provide President Trump with more options should he choose to take a more aggressive approach in dealing with the country’s disconcerting behavior.

Unfortunately that very same aircraft, the Carl Vinson, and the other three warships in the fleet were sailing in the opposite direction to support the Australian Navy in a joint operation in the Indian Ocean.

The Carl Vinson’s arrival had been publicized across East Africa by the time the White House was asked about the wayward vessel.  

There was fear that President Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike, which would provide further evidence of the president’s combative style like the kind that dictated the missile strike on Syria.

On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the United States, as the recent bombings of Syria and Afghanistan showed “strength and resolve.”

Pence also said that the U.S. would counter any attack from North Korea with an “overwhelming and effective” response. His comments were in response to North Korea’s attempt to demonstrate its nuclear capabilities with a failed missile launch test last weekend.

The White House has stated that they will attempt to convince China to cut ties with North Korea, before drawing a red line against the country, igniting a full on war not according to the New York Times.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer noted that China’s coal imports from North Korea have been decreasing. He said, “There’s a lot of economic and political pressure points that I think China can utilize. We’ve been very encouraged with the direction in which they’re going.”

On Tuesday, North Korea stated that “they’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis” in a statement from North Korea’s Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol to the BBC.

China has called for the end of these tests and are pushing for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the problem.

Other countries have voiced their opinions on the issue as well. Russia stated that they don’t support “missile adventures by Pyongyang,” and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that it is “important to maintain peace”, but “dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless.”

North Korea also released a new video on Wednesday of missiles destroying an American city after flying over the Pacific Ocean according to the Washington Post.

This comes as NBC News reports that the U.S. may be unable to shoot down a missile bound for the U.S. from North Korea, should missiles be fired.

From an aircraft carrier in Japan, Pence stated that “the era of strategic patience is over. The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.”

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