US sends SECOND nuclear warship and 7,500 marines within strike range of North Korea
A NUCLEAR-powered US aircraft carrier with 7,500 seamen on board is expected to join the build-up of warships amassing near North Korea.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, is en route to the western Pacific after leaving San Diego port last week.
The Roosevelt will focus on maritime security operations in the Pacific and Middle East, the US military announced.
But the £3.4billion ($4.5billion) warship, known as “the Big Stick”, has been sent to boost US defence on the Korean peninsula, according to South Korean media.
It is expected to arrive in region in the coming weeks amid fears North Korea is about to test another missile or nuclear weapon.
Admiral Steve Koehler, a strike group commander on the ship, said the 7,500 sailors and marines on the vessel are “ready as a war fighting force”.
“The US Navy carrier strike group is the most versatile, capable force at sea,” he said in a statement before the ship’s launch.
“After nearly a year of training and integration exercises, the entire team is ready as a warfighting force and ready to carry out the nation’s tasking.”