US moves second aircraft carrier to North Korea's doorstep

Fri 19 May 2017 07:43 GMT | 11:43 Local Time

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The U.S. Navy is moving a second aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula to take part in training exercises.

The Navy is moving the USS Ronald Reagan there, two days after departing Japan, to conduct dual-carrier training exercises with the USS Carl Vinson, CNN reported on Thursday.

The Navy previously stated that the Reagan was being stationed in the area to relieve the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, sent there in April during a time of rising tensions over North Korea's missile tests.

"Coming out of a long in-port maintenance period we have to ensure that Ronald Reagan and the remainder of the strike group are integrated properly as we move forward," Rear Adm. Charles Williams said in a press release Tuesday.

North Korea declared that Sunday it successfully test-fired a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that can reach U.S. targets, though the U.S. military is doubtful of that claim.

President Trump warned in April there is a chance of "a major, major conflict with North Korea" in response to increased missile-testing activity from the country. The president said solving the North Korea problem without armed conflict would be preferable, but that it would not be easy. "We'd love to solve things diplomatically, but it's very difficult," he said.

Trump later said he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under "the right circumstances."

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