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US mulls sending 2 aircraft carriers to Korean peninsula

IANS | Seoul |

The US is mulling to dispatch two aircraft carriers to the Korean peninsula in a show of force following North Korea's ballistic missile launch, the media reported on Wednesday.

South Korean and the US militaries have considered mobilisation of the US aircraft carrier to the peninsula for the joint annual war games codenamed Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Xinhua news agency quoted a South Korean official as saying.

USS Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan aircraft carriers, which were sent to the waters near the peninsula in late May, would reportedly be mobilised in the wake of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch by the Communist regime.

The mobilisation date would be moved up, before the computer-assisted simulation exercise that was scheduled to kick off on August 21, the official said.

The official said reviews were underway over the dispatch of two aircraft carriers and an undefined number of US nuclear-powered submarine this month, before the joint US-South Korea war game kicks off.

The missile, launched last week, flew about 1,000 km and lofted as high as over 3,700 km. It was an advanced version of Hwasong-14 that travelled 933 km at a maximum altitude of 2,802 km at the July 4 test-launch.

The official said the mobilisation of the supercarriers would mean issuing a strong warning against North Korea to deter any further provocation, describing the upcoming UFG war game as a high-intensity joint drill to show force against Pyongyang in waters near the peninsula.