TOKYO, Apr 29: A US Navy strike group is making its way through Japanese waters as it headed to waters off the Korean Peninsula amid tensions between the US and North Korea.
Footage posted by Japanese broadcaster NHK on Saturday shows the USS Carl Vinson passing through the waters off the coast of Nagasaki, southern Japan.
Washington had earlier said that its recent naval deployment to the region was a show of force meant to send a message to Pyongyang.
The two countries have been engaged in a war of words over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
Early on Saturday, neighboring countries said North Korea had conducted a ballistic missile launch, which most likely failed.
The North says its defense programs are necessary in the face of the US aggression and has threatened the US with a pre-emptive attack.
US and South Korean forces have been carrying out annual military exercises since the beginning of March that conclude at the end of April on Sunday.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for more sanctions against North Korea and said that “all options must remain on the table.”
“The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real, and it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the US mainland,” Tillerson told a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.
Tillerson made the remarks hours after US President Donald Trump said that a “major conflict” with North Korea was “absolutely” possible in the ongoing standoff over its nuclear and missile programs.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meanwhile warned the United States against using military force against North Korea.
“The use of force does not solve differences and will only lead to bigger disasters,” Wang told the Security Council on Friday.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Security Council that the mounting US rhetoric against North Korea could have “frightening consequences.”
He said the “rhetoric coupled with reckless muscle-flexing has led to a situation where the whole world is seriously wondering whether there is going to be a war or not.”