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US warships sent to Korean peninsula as tensions in the region continue to grow

The US sent naval warships to waters near the Korean peninsula Sunday as North Korea continues to defy calls from world leaders to end its nuclear testing program.

An aircraft carrier, along with several other ships, make up the Carl Vinson strike group which moved toward the peninsula Sunday. The ships have the ability to both fire and intercept missiles.

“The number one threat in the region continues to be North Korea, due to its reckless, irresponsible and destabilising programme of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” US Pacific Command spokesman Dave Benham told the BBC.

President Donald Trump and South Korea’s acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn spoke over the phone Saturday, agreeing to stay in continued contact about North Korea. Trump has previously said that the US is prepared to act alone to deal with any nuclear threat from North Korea.

On Wednesday, North Korea fired a medium-range test missile into the Sea of Japan. The country has continually ignored UN restrictions on weapons testing.

After the US lobbed 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria Thursday, attacking one of President Bashar Al Assad’s air bases, North Korea said that its nuclear program was validated by the attacks. “The US missile attack against Syria is a clear and intolerable act of aggression against a sovereign state and we strongly condemn it,” a government official reportedly told the North Korea’s national news agency, KCNA. “The reality of today shows that we must stand against power with power and it proves a million times over that our decision to strengthen our nuclear deterrence has been the right choice.”