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 UnPompeo expresses concern over North Korea missile tests State Dept. extends travel ban to North Korea Can we do business with Kim Jong Un? Leadership analysis might give clues MORE has indicated that the country could test an intercontinental ballistic missile at any time.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems 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 TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries State Dept. extends travel ban to North Korea Scaramucci breaks up with Trump in now-familiar pattern 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.