SEOUL, Aug. 2 — The United States was mulling dispatching two aircraft carriers to the Korean Peninsula in an apparent show of force following the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s test-launch of what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.
An unidentified South Korean government source was quoted as saying the military authorities of South Korea and the US had considered the mobilization of the US aircraft carrier to the peninsula for the joint annual war games, codenamed Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG).
The mobilization date would be moved up, before the computer-assisted simulation exercise that was scheduled to kick off on August 21, according to the source.
The two US aircraft carriers to be mobilized would reportedly be USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike groups, which were sent to the waters near the peninsula in late May.
The source was quoted as saying that reviews were underway over the dispatch of two US aircraft carriers and an undefined number of US nuclear-powered submarine in the third week of this month before the joint US-South Korea war game kicks off.
The mulling of the dispatch followed the DPRK’s test-firing last week the ICBM that flew about 1,000 km and was lofted as high as over 3,700 km. It was an advanced version of Hwasong-14 that traveled 933 km at a maximum altitude of 2,802 km at the July 4 test-launch.
The source was quoted as saying the mobilization of the two US super carriers would have the meaning of issuing a strong warning against the DPRK to deter any further provocation, describing the upcoming UFG war game as a high-intensity joint drill to show force against the DPRK in waters near the Korean Peninsula.
The DPRK has denounced the US-South Korea war game as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.