Movement of U.S. Navy strike group not for a specific reason: Mattis

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gestures to the media at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The movement of a U.S. Navy strike group toward the western Pacific Ocean is not tied to a specific event and is a prudent move, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday.

” As far as the movement of the (Carl) Vinson, she is stationed there in the Western Pacific for a reason, she operated freely, up and down the Pacific, and she is just on her way up there because that is where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time,” Mattis told a Pentagon press briefing.

“It is not a specific demand signal or a specific reason why we are sending her up there,” Mattis said.

The Carl Vinson will take more than a week to move toward the Korean peninsula, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish