As Trump warned North Korea, his 'armada' was headed towards Australia

Cheryl Sanders
April 20, 2017

The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing defense officials, that communication misfires fanned the incorrect statements that the warships were heading toward North Korea. It was spotted by Defense News, a trade publication, which broke the news that the ship was thousands of miles from where most of the world thought it was.

"The 50 million South Koreans, as well as many common-sensical people around the world, can not help but feel embarrassed and shocked", said Youn Kwan-suk, spokesman of the main opposition Democratic Party, which is leading in voter surveys ahead of the May 9 presidential election.

The presence of the United States carrier strike group, and the threat of a U.S. military strike on North Korea, had weighed heavily on Chinese minds and in the media there.

Japan, the other main US ally in the region, did not comment on the mix-up while China's foreign ministry declined to comment at a regular briefing.

On April 8, US Pacific Command, which oversees military operations in the region, issued a statement saying that the Carl Vinson and an accompanying strike group would leave Singapore and head to the Western Pacific, with a US military official telling CNN that it was a "show of force" in response to North Korea's provocations.

"The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula".

Kilby said the mission was to assure America's allies in the region of its commitment to the region as North Korea has accelerated its missile testing program and is widely believed to be poised to light off a sixth nuclear test. The picture was taken last Saturday, four days after White House press secretary Sean Spicer described its mission.

"I think we were asked very clearly about the use of a carrier group in terms of deterrence and foreign presence and what that meant, and we were - that's what we discussed". It's prudent. But it does a lot of things.

President Trump views North Korea as the biggest threat to peace in the world, and recently dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to Korea to issue a stern warning that the US had lost its patience with the North.

It was revealed this week that the so-called armada, known as the USS Carl Vinson, is only now moving towards the Korean Peninsula.

In an interview that aired April 12 on Fox Business Network, President Donald Trump was asked about the redirection of the ships.

North Korea did not refer to the mix-up but said the United States and its allies "should not mess with us".

But he added: "As all of you know, readiness is the key".

"There's not a specific demand signal or specific reason why we're sending her up there", he said. "We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier".

There had been confusion after US President Donald Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea even as the aircraft carrier strike group he spoke of was still far from the Korean peninsula.

What the Navy did not say was that the Carl Vinson had to carry out another mission before it could set sail north: a long-scheduled joint exercise with the Australian navy in the Indian Ocean.

Other reports by iNewsToday