Presence of US warship could bring North Korea 'into alignment', admiral states

A US admiral has called North Korea "one of the aggressive actors" on the world stage, adding an American warship could help enforce Donald Trump's "political will and desires".

Rear Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, commander of the carrier 2 strike group, said the presence of the US and other international partners would attempt to bring North Korea "into alignment", amidst growing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

President Trump has threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continues its threats against the US.

Rear Admiral Whitesell is currently engaged with British forces aboard aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush as part of Exercise Saxon Warrior, a war game designed to help train the UK's new carrier strike group.

Speaking to the Press Association on board the warship off the coast of Scotland, Rear Admiral Whitesell said the carrier was a "big demonstration" of influence to ensure the free flow of commerce and navigation around the world.

He went on to call North Korea "one of the aggressive actors", adding: "Our presence and the coalition presence off their coast attempts to bring them into alignment.

"That's what he's attempting to do, or we can do at a political level to help enforce his political will and desires."

Pressed on whether he supported President Trump's comments, Rear Admiral Whitesell said: "The President, he's got his political statements.

"My masters are the secretary of defence, General Mattis, and then from General Mattis it flows through the secretary of the Navy and then the co-comms, how they employ us.

"To translate the rhetoric into military action is a big stepping stone, so we step back and allow the secretary of defence to decide how they're going to employ."

USS George HW Bush has spent the past seven months launching air strikes against Islamic State and is due to sail back to the US after Exercise Saxon Warrior finishes this week.

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