The head of all U.S. forces in the Pacific canceled a planned carrier exercises and port visits in Australia and redirected the Carl Vinson carrier strike group to the waters off the Korean Peninsula as the U.S. weighs a series of limited options for dealing with an increasingly unbalanced and dangerous North Korean regime.

In a release Saturday afternoon, U.S. Pacific Command announced the cancellation and redeployment of Vinson. Announcing carrier movements in advance is rare, and generally done to send a clear message.

“Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8,” the release said. […]