USS Carl Vinson carrier group expected off Korea at end of April
Apr 20 2017
Instead it was heading south for military drills with Australia in the Indian Ocean.
The USS Carl Vinson has been making its way from Singapore to the Sea of Japan since last week, making stops in Asia along the way.
But now it appears the strike group is headed to Korean waters, with intent to stay for some time.
By conducting joint exercises with the Maritime Self-Defense Force and through other means, the USA aircraft carrier strike group is poised to increase military pressure on North Korea and urge Pyongyang to engage in restraint.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is looking to address confusion over a US aircraft carrier group, saying that its schedule had been disclosed earlier to be transparent.
After declining to discuss military movements initially, Trump then said that, "We are sending an armada".
"The statement that was put out was that the Carl Vinson group was headed towards the Korean Peninsula".
But on Tuesday, it was revealed the strike group had not yet started its journey to the peninsula when those comments were made.
The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participating in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula. "She operates freely up and down the Pacific, and she's just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time". That is, we were shifting her.
"If you threaten them and your threat is not credible, it's only going to undermine whatever your policy toward them is", said North Korea expert Joel Wit at the 38 North monitoring group, run by Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
For more than a week, media reports in the USA and around Asia routinely have mentioned the approach of the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group, seemingly implying an attack on North Korea could be imminent.
"We are sending an armada", President Donald Trump said on April 12. We're ready to defend our allies in this region. "We will continue to be the centerpiece of visible maritime deterrence, providing our national command authority with flexible deterrent options, all domain access, and a visible forward presence".
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated as President Donald Trump adopted strong rhetoric against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Beijing, long considered North Korea's last remaining ally, has stepped up its criticism of Pyongyang.
Many observers expected a nuclear test or missile launch in honor of the occasion, but in the end, nothing happened on that day.