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U.S. Dispatches Aircraft Carrier to South Korea

President Obama dispatched an American aircraft carrier to the coast of South Korea Wednesday in response to a North Korean attack that killed two soldiers and two civilians on Yeonpyeong Island. According to the New York Times, Obama left an emergency meeting in the Situation Room determined "both to deter further attacks by the North and to signal to China that unless it reins in its unruly ally it will see an even larger American presence in the vicinity." But a former national security official tells the Times that North Korea is "the land of lousy options," with Obama "forced to choose among unpalatable choices: responding with verbal condemnations and a modest tightening of sanctions, which has done little to halt new attacks; starting military exercises that are largely symbolic; or reacting strongly, which could risk a broad war." Symbolism it is. The George Washington aircraft carrier and several other vessels will make their way to South Korea, where they will participate in military exercises with the South Korean navy.

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