World given false timeline about US aircraft carrier headed for Korean Peninsula

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

The confusion began on 9 April when the US Navy said the Carl Vinson strike group was travelling from Singapore to the Western Pacific.

US President Donald Trump said last week he had ordered the strike group to head for Korean waters. That's a fact. It happened. "It is happening, rather", Spicer said, while referring further questions to the Pentagon.

A U.S. Navy strike group headed by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that was reportedly headed for waters near the Korean Peninsula apparently never arrived.

However, The New York Times noted on Tuesday, that the Navy posted a picture dated April 15, showing the strike group in the Sunda Strait, an area thousands of miles away from North Korea off the coast of Indonesia.

Instead of heading straight towards the Korean peninsula the strike group headed the opposite direction.

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

Pence, in an interview with CNN that aired Wednesday, said there were no direct talks between the US and North Korea "at this time".

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on April 11 said the Vinson was "on her way up" to the peninsula.

The announcement came as many speculated that North Korea could be on the verge of a nuclear test, and numerous US officials said deploying the ships was a muscular display of force.

Pressed by reporters as to why the White House did not clarify the conflicting information, Spicer said that his statements were not false. "Very powerful", US President Donald Trump told the Fox Business Network.

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 was heading there, it is heading there", Spicer said.

Officials said there had been a lack of follow-up with commanders overseeing the aircraft carrier's movements.

The redirection had sparked fears about a preemptive USA strike should North Korea conduct a nuclear weapons test.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis looked to address confusion over the issue on Wednesday, telling reporters traveling with him in the Middle East that the adjustment in the Vinson's schedule had been disclosed in the interest of transparency. Now, Defense Secretary James Mattis insists the USA is going to send the strike group to North Korea, and that they definitely mean it this time. The Vinson, as I said on the record, was operating up and down the Western Pacific and we were doing exactly what we said.

"The President said we have an armada going towards the Peninsula", he said."That's a fact".

North Korea held a massive military parade on Saturday to celebrate a major national holiday and conducted a midrange missile test Sunday that fizzled immediately after launch.

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