Everyone has been talking for the past week about the aircraft carrier strike group President Donald Trump dispatched toward the Korean peninsula as a warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but Kim seems not to have gotten the message thus far, considering his grand military parade and continued provocative missile launches.
But according to a report from South Korean media outlet Yonhap, there are rumors circulating that Trump just upped the ante by ordering two more carrier strike groups deployed to the tense region, placing a tremendous amount of air and naval firepower at the disposal of the military’s regional commander.
A roughly translated version of the article, which cites South Korean government officials who claimed knowledge of the deployment orders, stated that in addition to the USS Carl Vinson, already steaming toward Korea from Singapore, the carrier strike groups of the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz were also ordered to head for the region.
That shouldn’t be too difficult for the Reagan strike group, whose home port is in Japan, but it may take a bit more time for the Nimitz group, as it is reportedly wrapping up final pre-deployment assessments off the coast of Oregon, according to the Nimitz News, the carrier’s in-house media outlet.
To be sure, there is little in the way of confirmation of these reports from the American media, and the Trump administration has made it clear repeatedly that it isn’t going to discuss strategy or asset movements ahead of time, lest it give the enemy a premature heads-up regarding impending operations.
That said, if the rumors of additional carrier strike group deployments to the Korean peninsula are indeed true, the size of the “big stick” Trump is showing Kim Jong Un to deter him from his would-be nuclear ambitions just got a lot bigger and vastly more lethal.
It is worth noting that aside from regular training operations, this is believed to be the first time this many carrier strike groups have been deployed to the same area since World War II, should the deployments in fact take place — a significant policy shift in light of the previous administration’s non-deployment of similar assets over the same time-frame.