US Navy photo reveals aircraft carrier nowhere near North Korea

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

The deployment of the USS Carl Vinson's carrier strike group to the area around North Korea raised serious concerns among nations in the region, notably China and Russian Federation, that the United States is going to attack North Korea at some point in the near future.

Standing at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas this week, Vice President Pence issued his latest warning to North Korea.

US President Donald J. Trump. The expected arrival of the ships flashed across front pages in East Asia, where many were concerned of a preemptive US military strike on North Korea, the New York Times reported.

The White House said it based its statements on guidance from the Defense Department.

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

Those options probably include stepped-up cyber and electronic activity, which would be more easily deniable and less likely to trigger a North Korean response.

"They are going to start heading north towards the Sea of Japan within next 24 hours", the official said on condition of anonymity.

The story unravelled when the US Navy released a photograph showing the Carl Vinson thousands of kilometres away in the Sunda Strait, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, on Saturday, the same day Kim Jong-un was making a show of his military arsenal in the streets of Pyongyang.

The Trump administration and Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, made a point last week of stating that a port visit for the Vinson and its support ships in Australia had been cancelled, and the battle group was heading to the Sea of Japan to guard against North Korea's missile and nuclear tests.

"If you are going to threaten the North Koreans, you better make sure your threat is credible", Wit said.

Trump has ordered the strike group to sail near the Korean peninsula as a show of force aimed at deterring North Korea from conducting more missiles tests.

"A carrier group is several things".

The New York Times reported the administration officials' conflicting reports as "glitch-ridden sequence of events ..."

Screaming headlines in Far East news reports - and in the US - on the whereabouts of the Vinson proved to be premature.

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