U.S. backtracks on 'armada' sailing towards North Korea
The White House said it based its statements on guidance from the Defense Department.
"After departing Singapore on April 8 and canceling a scheduled port visit to Perth, the Strike Group was able to complete a curtailed period of previously scheduled training with Australia in global waters off the northwest coast of Australia", a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson told the Post in a statement.
Joel Wit, a co-founder of the 38 North program of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said the matter was "very perplexing" and fed into North Korea's narrative that the US is all bluster and does not follow through on threats.
It is not clear whether the failure to arrive was a deliberate deception, perhaps created to frighten North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, a change of plan or simple miscommunication, the BBC's Korea correspondent Stephen Evans says. "Very powerful", US President Donald Trump told the Fox Business Network.
United States "armada" was not sailing to Korean peninsula A U.S. aircraft carrier and other warships did not sail towards North Korea - but went in the opposite direction, it has emerged.
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The episode raised questions about whether major allies of the United States, like South Korea and Japan, had been informed of the carrier's whereabouts, and whether the misinformation undercut US strategy to contain North Korea's nuclear ambitions by using empty threats.
Now, the Carl Vinson is finally on a course for the Korean Peninsula, expected to arrive in the region next week, defense officials said.
The perceived communications mix-up has raised eyebrows among Korea experts, who wonder whether it erodes the Trump administration's credibility at a time when USA rhetoric about the North's advancing nuclear and missile capabilities are raising concerns about a potential conflict. The ship is scheduled to deploy this spring to relieve the Vinson in the Western Pacific.
"The fact that the Carl Vinson strike group was not in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula undermines the Trump administration's tough approach towards Pyongyang".
The remarks about the group's dispatch has further driven up the already high tensions, with North Korea responded to the reported dispatch with harsh rhetoric.
So while the administration announced that the armada was steaming toward the Sea of Japan as a deterrent to Kim Jong-un's belligerence, it was 3,500 miles away in the Indian Ocean heading for joint maneuvers with the Australian Navy.
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