According to multiple sources in the Japanese government, China and Russia have both sent ships after the USS Carl Vincent and other ships in a strike group, which is on its way to the Korean Peninsula, in order to monitor its movements and serve as a warning signal to the U.S. The move comes amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, including yet another (failed) missile test in the region.
It appears that both countries aim to probe the movements of the United States, which is showing a stance of not excluding military action against North Korea. The Self-Defense Forces are strengthening warning and surveillance activities in the waters and airspace around the area, according to the sources.
China and Russia, which prioritize stability in the Korean Peninsula, showed concern over the tough U.S. stance, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying the issue should be resolved peacefully through political and diplomatic efforts.
Vice President Mike Pence, who called the latest missile test a “provocation,” is currently in South Korea to meet with U.S. and South Korean military. Speaking to reporters at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Pence said the “era of strategic patience is over” and reiterated that “all options are on the table” in order to stop North Korea’s military expansion and bring stability to the region, a stance that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has supported.