The US will send an aircraft carrier-led naval strike group near North Korea for a military drill with South Korea, Seoul's defence ministry has said. The US fleet is expected to arrive in October and is bound to infuriate Pyongyang.
Tensions in the Korean peninsula have been constantly escalating in recent months in the wake of North Korea's provocations such as missile launches and a nuclear detonation. The US has repeatedly warned that military action against the Kim Jong-un regime will not be ruled out.
In a report to the National Assembly, South Korea's defence ministry said the country's navy will take part in joint exercises with "the US aircraft carrier strike group". The report did not divulge the name of the aircraft carrier and the US Navy has not yet released any information on the matter as yet.
Japan, a key ally of the US facing increasing threats from North Korea, is also expected to take part in a combined drill with the US supercarrier. As part of Washington's show of force against the North, Guam-based nuclear capable B-1B bombers are also set to be dispatched sometime late in September.
North Korea fired a long-range ballistic missile on Friday, 15 September, passing over Japan. Immediately after the launch, South Korean forces fired two ballistic missiles while the North Korean projectile was still mid-flight.
Meanwhile, the US has issued yet another strong warning to North Korea to scale down its weapons programmes. In an interview with CNN, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the administration of US President Donald Trump was running out of options on North Korea.
"We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point," said Haley. "If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed. And we all know that. And none of us want that. None of us want war. We're trying every other possibility that we have, but there's a whole lot of military options on the table."