Japanese destroyers begin drill with Carl Vinson

Confusion over the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier continued to roil South Korea on April 19 following the revelation that the Carl Vinson Strike Group, initially announced by the USA to be heading toward the Korean Peninsula, had instead spent the last week thousands of kilometers away, sailing in the opposite direction.

More than a week earlier, on 8 April, the US Navy announced that a strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson had been diverted north from Singapore to the Western Pacific as speculation mounted that North Korea was preparing a nuclear or missile test.

Mr Turnbull said China has the leverage to influence North Korea, adding: "The eyes of the world are on Beijing".

The carrier group is expected to arrive off the Korean Peninsula before the end of April.

"The statement said that the Vinson would head north "rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia".

If the US Navy did not broadcast a photo of the aircraft carrier passing through the Strait between the Java Islands and Sumatra on April 15, everyone would have thought the armada was heading Towards the Korean peninsula to enter the waters of the East Sea.

According to the US Navy, a F/A-18E jet based on the US Carl Vinson aircraft carrier crashed near the Philippines, Sputnik reported.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis said the USS Carl Vinson strike group is now proceeding to the Western Pacific.

"A carrier group is several things", said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on that same day.

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued a fresh warning to North Korea, saying that Washington will counter any potential attack with an "overwhelming and effective" response.

The Donald said: "We are sending an armada".

"The statement that was put out was that the Carl Vinson group was headed to the Korean Peninsula".

North Korea said it was ready to defend itself with all means available, including weapons of mass destruction. Many South Koreans and others cheered the decision, calling the move a powerful symbol of US strength and resolve.

The group consisted of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, weighing 97,000 tons with 60 aircraft, as well as two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser.

It was about 3,500 miles away from North Korea as leader Kim Jong-Un led a huge show of military strength at the weekend.

China has avoided directly criticising the United States for lying about the course of its nuclear aircraft carrier, but warned that such actions might compromise regional peace.

  • Leroy Wright