Eight days after North Korea test-fired four missiles, warships from the U.S., Japan and South Korea arrived in the same area, carrying missile defense systems. It was meant to send a message to the North, and the North responded by saying that if the allies infringe on North Korean sovereignty even a bit, its army would launch strikes from air, land and sea.
China meanwhile called for everyone to end the, quote, "vicious cycle" that could spiral out of control.
Onboard an American ship near South Korea, this is all part of routine exercises.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is USS Carl Vinson, a 97,000-ton aircraft carrier. And at the moment, it is in the waters just off the east coast of Korea. Now, it just arrived here about a week ago. It's part of this massive annual military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. It's happening every single year. The U.S. says they're defensive in nature, and yet, every single year, North Korea gets very nervous and very angry about these drills.
Now, we understand it, this ship itself was also just in the South China Sea, part of the freedom of navigation as the U.S. calls it into disputed waters that China claims as its own and also many other countries do as well. And there has been an awful lot of military hardware coming into South Korea in recent days. Monday last week, we have THAAD, the U.S. missile defense system, the first elements arriving. And then on Monday, attack drones Grey Eagle are going to be brought into South Korea, the U.S. military announcing that.
So, North Korea not happy with what's going on at this point, but from the point of view of the people here on this ship, this is defensive, it is routine and it is necessary.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, onboard the USS Carl Vinson.