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Aircraft carrier wasn't sailing to deter North Korea, as U.S. suggested

21 April 2017, 01:17 | Taylor George

The Navy announced on April 9 that its Carl Vinson Strike Group was heading towards the Sea of Japan, a move the White House later cast as a deterrent against North Korea's aggression. White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department.

Administration officials described to the Times what the newspaper called a "glitch-ridden sequence of events" surrounding the strike group.

As worries deepened last week about whether North Korea would conduct a missile test, the White House declared that ordering a U.S. aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal and give President Donald Trump more options in responding to the North's provocative behaviour.

In an interview with Fox Business that aired on April 12, President Trump declared that the United States was "sending an armada" to deal with the threat posed by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's refusal to stop testing weapons.

The website of the U.S. Navy shows a photo of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transiting the Sunda Strait on April 15.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group actually sailed south after U.S.

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President Donald Trump the next day said: "We are sending an armada". It's prudent. But it does a lot of things.

The United States increased its rhetoric ahead of North Korea's military parade and failed missile launch over the weekend, and Vice President Mike Pence yesterday declared that the era of U.S. "strategic patience" in dealing with Pyongyang was over.

"But 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".

And White House press secretary Sean Spicer played along - either in the dark or as part of a ruse. So I think it serves multiple capabilities'.

News that the US hadn't followed through on its threat to North Korea was greeted in Chinese media with raucous laughter on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

The saga of the wayward carrier might never have come to light, had the Navy not posted a photograph on Monday of the Carl Vinson sailing through the Sunda Strait, which separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. The carrier and its companions could still make their way back to the Korean Peninsula, which they last visited in March, but US defense officials generally decline to describe the deployments of American military units before the fact.



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