As Trump warned North Korea, his 'armada' was headed toward Australia
Apr 20 2017
The supercarrier Carl Vinson will spend additional 30 days at sea to ensure U.S. military presence off the Korean Peninsula, Carrier Strike Group One Commander Rear Adm. Jim Kilby armada-finally-heading-to-korea--and-may-stay-a-while/2017/04/19/734ac5e7-ad0c-4395-9cfe-43a9596dca7b_story.html?utm_term=.ba3048e8514f">said on Wednesday.
The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.
(The statement appeared to suggest an imminent redeployment to the Western Pacific.) And White House press secretary Sean Spicer emphasized that last week's many announcements regarding the Vinson's destination were true - she just hadn't departed yet.
For a few days it had seemed that after raining Tomahawks on Syria, Trump was prepared to punish North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who had stepped up missile launches and firings in a thinly disguised attempt to test the new administration. Days later, in response to a question about the warships, Trump told the Fox Business Network that the US was "sending an armada, very powerful" to North Korea.
Senior Australian defence sources said the USA carrier group was now gradually making its way closer to North Korea. As is customary, the Navy did not say exactly where the carrier force was headed or its precise mission.
Officials did, however, flatly deny reports that three USA carrier strike groups were being directed to mass off the Korean peninsula in a few weeks.
It did not conduct a nuclear weapons test or attempt an attack on South Korea or Japan, which might have prompted a military crisis.
Last week President Trump said an "armada" was being sent.
North Korea said it was prepared to respond to any USA aggression. But it was now "proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered".
"If you are going to threaten the North Koreans, you better make sure your threat is credible", Wit said.
The article also dismissed speculation that the strikes groups for the carriers USS Ronald Reagan and Nimitz could join with the USS Vinson.
The official added that the strike group wouldn't be in the region before next week at the earliest - it is thousands of nautical miles from the Java Sea to the Sea of Japan. News reports said Japan was planning to deploy its own destroyers to form up with the Carl Vinson and its us escorts, the destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and Michael Murphy and the cruiser USS Lake Champlain.