North Korea: Pentagon addresses confusion over strike group


Joel Wit, a co-founder of the 38 North programme of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said to AP: "If you are going to threaten the North Koreans, you better make sure your threat is credible".

Before the mix-up was revealed, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command had said the deployment was in response to the "No. 1 threat in the region", North Korea, and its "reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability".

The Vinson is now expected to arrive at the Korean Peninsula on April 25, the same day as the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the North Korean army, according to the Korea Herald.

Pressed by reporters as to why the White House did not clarify the conflicting information, Spicer said that his statements were not false.

The Vinson Strike Group consists of the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, two destroyers and one cruiser.

The US Navy says an aircraft carrier intended as a show of force to North Korea will arrive in the Sea of Japan next week, after much confusion surrounding the path of the USS Carl Vinson. The Carl Vinson took part last month in the U.S.

A Trump administration official said Washington was concerned about the possibility of some kind of North Korean provocation around the time of the South Korean election on May 9.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had also confirmed the Vinson's redeployment.

The controversy surrounding the group's route began with a photo released by the US Navy on April 15 that showed the carrier passing north through the Sunda Strait, the passage between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, about 5,600 kilometers from the peninsula.

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Instead of heading straight towards the Korean peninsula the strike group headed the opposite direction.

Donald Trump boasted last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea but it turns out it was actually going in the opposite direction. "After departing Singapore on April 8 and canceling a scheduled port visit to Perth, the Strike Group was able to complete a curtailed period of previously scheduled training with Australia in worldwide waters off the northwest coast of Australia", a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson told the Post in a statement.

But in an unbelievable blunder, a mix up between the White House and the Pentagon means the Carl Vinson is NOT heading for the Korean peninsula.

If and when the "armada" finally arrives, it's going to be staying awhile, with officials saying the planned deployment has been extended for 30 more days to prove the United States military comment to the northwestern Pacific.

In a statement to TPM Tuesday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Pacific Command did not acknowledge any scheduling snafu.

"North Korea is looking for trouble".

Pence, in an interview with CNN that aired Wednesday, said there were no direct talks between the US and North Korea "at this time".

The strike force has now been redirected and is heading toward the Korean Peninsula.