American presence in the area isn’t unusual. In March, the U.S. and South Korean navies conducted their 21st year of joint defensive readiness exercises, called Foal Eagle.
But North Korean madman Kim Jong Un‘s nuclear obsession, combined with recent reckless missile tests and saber-rattling at his nervous neighbors, have pushed the issue. President Donald Trump and his advisers have decided the time for a show of strength and readiness has come.
“It’s designed to send a message to our allies and all the nations in the region. With Vinson comes a lot of options for leadership,” an unnamed defense official told the Navy Times.
In recent weeks, North Korea has carried out two ballistic missile tests. The rogue nation is also suspected to have carried out five nuclear tests since 2006, including two in 2016, according to NBC News.
President Donald Trump’s meeting last week with China’s President Xi Jinping produced agreement that Kim’s actions are “unacceptable,” but it remains to be seen whether China, the nation with the ability to put the most effective economic pressure on North Korea, will act or simply watch and worry.
A king among ships, the Nimitz-class supercarrier Carl Vinson is capable of carrying 90 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. But the subtle message it sends may be the most effective: In 2011, the body of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was buried at sea off its deck.
The two guided-missile destroyers and the guided-missile cruiser in the strike group are equipped with the Aegis missile defense system, capable of tracking and shooting down the same missiles that Kim has been testing.
The dictator that Sen. John McCain recently called a “crazy fat kid” is unstable, unpredictable and obsessed with power. If he is not shaking in this boots at the sight of Carrier Strike Group One, he should be.