US aircraft carrier expected to arrive in waters off S.Korea this weekend

SEOUL-- A nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier is expected to arrive in waters near South Korea this weekend, raising tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

A South Korean military official was quoted as saying that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is forecast to enter the waters near the Korean Peninsula around April 15.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was reportedly being accompanied by two destroyers and one cruiser.

The Carl Vinson Strike Group departed from Singapore last Saturday for the Western Pacific. The re-deployment of the US aircraft carrier and its accompanying battleships raised tensions on the peninsula.

It would be unusual for the aircraft carrier to be re-mobilized to the peninsula, after having participated in the US-South Korea military exercises, codenamed Foal Eagle, from March 19 to March 25. The joint annual springtime war game would last by the end of this month.

Due to the unusual US action, ungrounded rumors spread on the Internet here that the US military could stage a pre-emptive strike against North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities.

Seoul's foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck told a press briefing that the authorities of South Korea and the United States are closely cooperating on issues on North Korea, saying those rumors are groundless.

Source: Philippines News Agency