Despite talk of a military strike, Trump’s ‘armada’ actually sailed away from Korea

BEIJING, April 18 — As tensions mounted on the Korean Peninsula, Admiral Harry Harris made a dramatic announcement: An aircraft carrier had been ordered to sail north from Singapore on April 8 toward the Western Pacific.

A spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command, which Harris heads, linked the deployment directly to the “number one threat in the region,” North Korea, and its “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on April 11 that the Carl Vinson was “on her way up there.” Asked about the deployment in an interview with Fox Business Network that aired April 12, President Trump said: “We are sending an armada, very powerful.”

U.S. media went into overdrive, and Fox reported on April 14 that the armada was “steaming” toward North Korea.

But pictures posted by the U.S. Navy suggest that’s not quite the case — or at least not yet.

A photograph released by the Navy showed the aircraft carrier sailing through the calm waters of Sunda Strait between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java on Saturday, April 15. By later in the day, it was in the Indian Ocean, according to Navy photographs.

In other words, on the same day that the world nervously watched North Korea stage a massive military parade to celebrate the birthday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung, and the press speculated about a preemptive U.S. strike, the U.S. Navy put the Carl Vinson, together with its escort of two guided-missile destroyers and a cruiser, more than 3,000 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula — and more than 500 miles southeast of Singapore.

Instead of steaming toward the Korea Peninsula, the carrier strike group was actually headed in the opposite direction to take part in “scheduled exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean,” according to Defense News, which first reported the story.

Neither the Pacific Command nor the Pacific Fleet responded immediately to requests for comment. On Monday, Cmdr. Clayton Doss, a Pacific Fleet spokesman, said only that the USS Carl Vinson and its escorts were “transiting the Western Pacific.” He declined to give a more precise location except to rule out the waters around South Korea or Japan.

The presence of the U.S. 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 here. Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that “storm clouds” were gathering and the risk of conflict rising.

The news that the ships were not where everyone assumed them to be was greeted with some glee in the Chinese media Tuesday.

“Tricked badly!” the Global Times exulted on its social media account. “None of the U.S. aircraft carriers that South Korea is desperately waiting for has come!”

Comments

  • April 18 - President Donald Trump had his early morning walk outside the White House with what appeared to be listening device plugged in both ears. One Secret Service agent walked up closer behind to have a 'sneak peak' of what the United States President was listening to.

    "I thought Mr. Trump was having one of his usual early morning conversation with investors across the region. But no. He was listening to Kenny Rogers' 'Coward of the County'." said the security guard who follows the president around.
  • Inspired by Kenny Roger's piece, Mr. Trump re-diverted the Carl Vinson back to her original voyage - having a joint exercise with the Australian Navy.

  • It worked brilliantly. Bigly brilliantly. Lol. It got the North to reacces it posture. For the liberals denouncing Trump for being a war mongerer all over the mainstream media. Now that it turn out to be a misinformation the media is crying that Trump didn't send the carrier group the Korean peninsula and bomb the North and start a war. Lol.
  • The media and liberals cried because he send the carrier group and then crier again because he didn't. Hahaha
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