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  • Sailors man the rails of the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, as it departs its home port in San Diego, California Aug. 22, 2014.

    Sailors man the rails of the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, as it departs its home port in San Diego, California Aug. 22, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 April 2017

The move comes as North Korea slammed the U.S. Friday for its missile strikes against a Syrian military base this week.

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, in a move that comes days after Washington illegally bombed Syria.

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The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

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

In a statement late Saturday, the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet said the strike group had been directed to sail north, but it did not specify the destination.

The military vessels will operate in the Western Pacific rather than making previously planned port visits to Australia, it added.

Trump's national security aides have completed a review of U.S. options to try to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. These include economic and military measures but lean more toward sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing.

The move comes as North Korea slammed the U.S. Friday for its missile strikes against a Syrian military base. Pyongyang branded the bombing "an unforgivable act of aggression" that showed its decision to develop nuclear weapons was "the right choice a million times over".

Trump spoke with South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday, the White House said on Saturday in a statement which did not mention the strike group.

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