March 23, 2018

USS Carl Vinson Wasn't Sailing to Deter N. Korea as Announced

21 April 2017, 01:55 | Taylor George

Photos released by the Navy showed instead that on Saturday it was in the Sunda Strait between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java and then the Indian Ocean.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis went so far as to tell Voice of America that the Vinson, part of Carrier Strike Group 1, had "canceled" its plans to participate in exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean just so it could steam up to North Korea.

Last week, amid tensions with North Korea and the possibility that the North might conduct a nuclear or missile test, us officials, including the president, had suggested that the U.S.S. Carl Vinson was headed north, toward the Korean peninsula.

It was widely assumed that the carrier group was patrolling somewhere within range last weekend, when USA officials feared Kim Jong Un's military would conduct a sixth underground nuclear test, or would try to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

President Trump himself added to the perception the strike group was speeding toward North Korea when he told Fox Business News on April 12, "We are sending an armada, very powerful".

"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".

This explanation will undoubtedly satisfy the many people who have given Spicer and the Trump White House the benefit of the doubt over significantly more clear-cut falsehoods and messaging failures.

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On April 15, a Navy photo showed the Carl Vinson south of its base in Singapore when it was supposed to be headed north toward North Korea per Trump's orders.

South Korean presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo told The Wall Street Journal of the carrier mix-up: "What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea".

"We said that it was heading there, and it was heading there - it is heading there".

A U.S. aircraft carrier the Navy claimed was headed towards the Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions in the region, was, in fact, still thousands of miles away, a USA official has acknowledged. But we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea.

But the strike group first headed elsewhere. "Afterwards, it changed course for unknown reasons, and that created confusion because the US didn't say anything about it".

He underlined the situation in the Korean peninsula is highly sensitive, and therefore all involved countries should avoid aggravating the situation. To counter the potential threat, and position the launch a potential retaliatory strike, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson was dispatched to provide air support.

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