As three US Carrier Strike Groups, the USS Carl Vinson, USS Ronald Reagan, and USS Nimitz approach the Sea of Japan, North Korea is threatening to destroy the USS Carl Vinson, and to obliterate Australia.

Recent satellite photos suggest that work has restarted at the North Korea nuclear test facility at Punggye-ri. Images from last Wednesday reportedly show trailers near the test portal of the tunnel where North Korea is believed to be preparing for its sixth nuclear test. The satellite photos also reveal mining carts along tracks leading to a spoil pile, and a net canopy and canvass to conceal equipment. The pumping operation eliminating water from the test tunnel appears to have stopped, suggesting that the site is ready for a test and the tunnel sealed. The US Carrier Strike Groups are expected to arrive in waters off Korea on late Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday will see North Korea celebrate the founding anniversary of the North Korea Army and some observers believe that they will follow it up with a nuclear test.

Other developments of note include line-ups at gas stations in North Korea suggesting that China is restricting fuel to their North Korean neighbors. In the event of hostilities, it is hard to launch conventional ground operations without fuel. Interestingly, China has denied that its air force and particularly its strategic bomber force on high alert and readiness. Russia is refusing to confirm its troop movements that deployed three trains worth of troops and equipment near its border with North Korean. Japan has sent two warships to join the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group in exercises. The US and South Korea carried out a massive exercise involving almost 1000 combat aircraft called Exercise Max thunder which some observers said is a test of a plan to destroy the North Korean air force in the opening stages of conflict. North Korea arrested and detained a US citizen this morning, making him the third American to be held by North Korea, in what is viewed as an attempt to take hostages for political leverage.

Finally, US Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, warned today that, “the minute North Korea gets a missile that could reach the United States and put a weapon on that missile, a nuclear weapon, the instant that happens, this country is at grave risk.”

#USSCarlVinson #USSRonaldReagan #USSNimitz #Japan #Australia #JohnKelly #UnitedStates

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