That 'Armada' Heading To North Korea? Actually, It Sailed South

North Korea expert Joel Wit, at the 38 North monitoring group, said it raised questions about the Trump administration's credibility.

As tensions mounted between the United States and North Korea, U.S. Pacific Command and members of the Trump administration said that the USS Carl Vinson would head north for the Western Pacific from Singapore, instead of Australia as previously planned.

Officials from the White House told the Times that its information about the ship, Carl Vinson, along with four other warships, came from the Defense Department.

The carrier was moving away from North Korea when the Pentagon had said it was moving toward the peninsula, the Times confirmed on Tuesday.

Officials have now said Mattis "misspoke" - and that it was a port visit in Australia that was cancelled to allow for the group's redeployment to the waters near the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking to Fox News, the USA president said of the aircraft carrier's re-routing: "We are sending an armada, very powerful".

"I think when you see a carrier group steaming into an area like that, the forward presence of that is clearly, through nearly every instance, a huge deterrence", he said, saying earlier that the strike force "gives the President options in the region".

Unnamed Korean government sources told the Korea Herald today that Vinson is expected to join an exercise off the nation's east coast on April 25, the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army.

In a press briefing last week, Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained the move to send the ships to North Korea.

"A carrier group is several things".

But soon after the Pacific Command statement, USA military officials said the strike group would first complete a previously scheduled military exercise in the Indian Ocean with the Australian navy.

A photo published by the Navy on Saturday showed that the USS Carl Vinson was actually in the Sunda Strait in India.

The strike force has now been redirected and is heading toward the Korean Peninsula.

The USS Carl Vinson recently gained global attention for its location, after President Trump recently said that the USA was sending an "armada" toward North Korea.

But after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, Trump concluded that "it's not so easy".

As Defense News first reported Monday, the strike force has been taking part in exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean over the last week.

Latest News