WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said on Tuesday that a second US guided-missile destroyer had taken position in the western Pacific on a missile defense mission, as tensions rise over North Korea's threats of war against the United States and its ally, South Korea.
The announcement is the latest confirmation of minor adjustments to the posture of the US military, which is seeking to reassure allies in Seoul and Tokyo of American military capabilities to respond to any moves by Pyongyang.
US defense officials announced on Monday that the USS John McCain, an Aegis-class guided-missile destroyer used for ballistic missile defense, was being put into position to operate off the Korean peninsula.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday the McCain had arrived at a "pre-determined location" in the western Pacific. He added that another destroyer, the USS Decatur, had also taken position in the western Pacific "to perform a missile defense mission as assigned by our combatant commander."