Navy strike group moving toward Korean peninsula

The United States is moving a Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula amid rising concerns over North Korea's weapons program, the Navy said in a statement on Saturday.

The Navy's Carl Vinson strike group left Singapore on Saturday and will move into the Western Pacific Ocean near the Korean Peninsula.

A U.S. official told Reuters that the move is intended to put pressure on North Korea to curb its recent weapons tests.

"We feel the increased presence is necessary," the official said.

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North Korea has conducted a number of weapons tests this year. The hermit kingdom on Tuesday launched a Scud missile, which went only a short distance before crashing into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnSeizing North Korean ships threatens to sink diplomacy Biden responds to North Korea insults: No surprise they want Trump in White House North Korean media rips Biden: a 'fool of low IQ' MORE has indicated that the country could test an intercontinental ballistic missile at any time.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where Trump reportedly urged Xi to take a tougher stance on North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonEx-Trump campaign adviser on Tillerson remarks: Trump will 'pick a fight with anybody' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi fires back in feud with Trump Trump fires back at 'dumb as a rock' Tillerson on Putin MORE has said that military action against North Korea is an "option," though Trump's national security aides have stressed economic sanctions.

Trump spoke by phone with acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Saturday, agreeing to "stay in close touch regarding North Korea," according to a White House statement.