Trump said he was “sending an armada” to the Korean Peninsula, but that didn’t happen.
by Paige Lavender, Eline Gordts
(HuffPo) – When U.S. officials claimed two weeks ago that an American aircraft carrier was heading toward waters near North Korea, it was actually sailing in the opposite direction, The New York Times and Defense News report.
Amid growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, U.S. Pacific Command announced on April 8 that the USS Carl Vinson strike group would sail north to the western Pacific after departing Singapore that day. An American official told Reuters at the time that the ships’ move toward the Korean Peninsula was a show of force directed at the regime of Kim Jong Un.
U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told Fox News the next day that the group was being rerouted from Singapore toward the Korean Peninsula as a “prudent” show of force.
Mere days after the announcement about the strike group’s new course, President Donald Trump weighed in on the North Korean threat. “We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,” Trump told Fox on April 12.
“We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: He is doing the wrong thing,” Trump added, referring to Kim Jong Un.
But Defense News pointed out on Tuesday that photos released by the U.S. Navy showed the aircraft carrier passing through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, about 3,500 miles from the Korean Peninsula, last Saturday. It was moving away from North Korea when U.S. officials said it was moving toward the peninsula, the Times confirmed on Tuesday.
The ship has changed direction since then, but is expected to arrive far later than initial reports suggested.
CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted that an administration official blamed the mix-up on a miscommunication. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Senior admin official blames miscommunication for mix-up over whereabouts of USS Carl Vinson which admin had said was headed to Sea of Japan
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 18, 2017