U.S. warships are headed toward the North Korean coast as the Asian nation prepares to celebrate the 105th birthday of its founder, Kim Il-sung, on Saturday, April 15.
The celebration may put North Korea on a military collision course with the United States. The New York Times reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will mark the day by either firing a ballistic missile or testing a nuclear device.
Such actions could trigger a U.S. military response. President Donald Trump ordered the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, along with three guided-missile destroyers and cruisers to leave Singapore Saturday in response to North Korea's latest missile test, according to the Times.
The ships will take part in joint exercises with the Japanese Navy in what national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster called a "prudent" measure.
"North Korea has been engaged in a pattern of provocative behavior," Gen. McMaster told "Fox News Sunday." "This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime, and [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] and President Trump agreed that that is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. And so, the president has asked to be prepared to give him a full range of options to remove that threat the American people and to our allies and partners in the region."
Trump spoke with Jinping on the telephone Wednesday, in which the American president reportedly urged his counterpart to crack down on North Korea over their nuclear weapons program.
In an interview with The Financial Times earlier this month, Trump said "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will."
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