TEHRAN, YJC.-- The United States is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean Peninsula as tensions mount with North Korea, a US military official say.
The official, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, said on Monday that the US Navy has sent the USS
Fitzgerald to the southwestern coast of the Korean Peninsula to defend
against a possible North Korean rocket launch, AFP reported.
The shifting of the USS Fitzgerald was "a prudent move” meant to
offer "greater missile defense options should that become necessary,”
the unnamed official added.
On Sunday, the United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South
Korea as part of military exercises with the South Asian country.
On Saturday, Pyongyang announced that it is in a "state of war” with
South Korea, warning that any provocation by Seoul and Washington will
trigger an all-out nuclear war.
Pyongyang said henceforth "the North-South relations will be
entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the
South will be handled accordingly."
"The long-standing situation of the Korean Peninsula
being neither at peace nor at war is finally over," said a statement
issued jointly by the government, political parties and other
Pyongyang also warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a
preemptive attack, the conflict "will not be limited to a local war, but
develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war."
Last week, North Korea said that its military should be prepared to
attack "all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific region, including the
US mainland, Hawaii, and Guam" and South Korea.
The announcement came days after South Korea and the US signed a new
military pact in response to what they called even low-level
provocations by Pyongyang.
On March 11, Seoul and Washington launched a week-long annual joint
military maneuver near the Korean Peninsula despite warnings from
Pyongyang. The maneuver involved 10,000 South Korean soldiers and about
3,000 US troops.