The USS Carl Vinson-led aircraft carrier strike group has been sent to waters in the Western Pacific near the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. Navy's Pacific Command and media reports said Sunday ahead of the anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder.

Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris directed the Carl Vinson strike group to sail north and report to the waters after departing Singapore on Saturday. Media reports quoted anonymous U.S. officials as saying the move was in response to recent North Korean provocations.

The Carl Vinson strike group, led by the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the same name, includes two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser. The group will operate in the Western Pacific rather than carrying out previously planned port visits to Australia, Pacific Command said.