US backtracks on 'armada' sailing towards N. Korea

An American official told Reuters at the time that the ships' move toward the Korean Peninsula was a show of force directed at the regime of Kim Jong Un. To counter the potential threat, and position the launch a potential retaliatory strike, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson was dispatched to provide air support.

"We will make the USA fully accountable for the catastrophic consequences that may be brought about by its high-handed and outrageous acts", the statement said.

Narushige Michishita, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, told the Journal that regardless of whether the US meant to deceive or the narrative was a miscommunication, it looked bad for the White House.

On April 15, the Navy posted a photograph to Flickr with a description that said the USS Carl Vinson was heading through the Sunda Strait, putting it several hundred miles south of Singapore, around 3,500 miles from the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. warships reportedly held joint drills with the Australian Navy in waters close to Indonesia after sailing in the opposition direction from Korea.

Trump has signaled he will take a hard line in dealing with North Korea's defiance, and both sides have traded threats of pre-emptive military action. The forward deployment is deterrence, presence. It's prudent. But it does a lot of things.

"I would not read anything into the Carl Vinson's current locations", he added.

During a massive parade in the capital, however, North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles.

"You never know, do you? Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you", said Mr Trump.

America's allies in Asia were silent on Wednesday over confusion about a U.S. aircraft carrier group that was supposed to be headed toward North Korea in a show of force, but was actually completing training exercises in Australia.

The flotilla, led by aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, had left Singapore for an undisclosed destination on April 9, just days after Trump ordered missiles into Syria, and it was assumed to be headed for the Korean peninsula.

From April 16-18, the website reported that the Vinson was in the Indian Ocean.

While North Korea did end up test-firing a missile on Sunday, the projectile exploded nearly immediately after launch.

A senior administration official blamed a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House when the aircraft carrier did not make its way to the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, as an expected show of force to North Korea. Pacific Command announced April 8 that it was canceling the ships' planned visit to Australia and instead ordering them to "sail north and report on station to the Western Pacific Ocean".

  • Leroy Wright