Friday, 28 April, 2017

White House denies misleading public on carrier destination

US carrier strike group still far from N. Korea official US carrier strike group still far from N. Korea official
Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 17:01

Last week, the White House said it was deploying the aircraft carrier and its battle group, described as an "armada" by President Trump, to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea.

The US military's Pacific Command said on Tuesday that it had cancelled a port visit to Perth, but had completed previously scheduled training with Australia off its northwest coast after departing Singapore on 8 April.

"We are sending an armada, very powerful" President Trump declared, in an interview with Fox Business on April 11. "That's a fact. It happened - it is happening, rather".

News organizations around the world, including NPR, covered the statements by Trump and other officials in Washington about the Carl Vinson's deployment as though the ships were bearing down on North Korea. And I will say this: "He is doing the wrong thing", Trump added, referring to Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Jim Kilby, who heads the Vinson strike group, wrote on Facebook that the ships' deployment "has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula".

"There's not a specific demand signal or specific reason we are sending her up there", Mattis said of the Vinson. Martin pointed out last week that the Vinson battle group would not be arriving in the Korean peninsula until next week, on April. 26.

The strike group, including the 97,000-ton carrier and its 60-plus aircraft, the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, will arrive off the Korean Peninsula by the end of April, multiple U.S. defense officials told CNN.

"North Korea is the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", Mr Pence said.

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

Photos released by the Navy show that an aircraft carrier group was very far away from the Korean Peninsula, where it was supposedly headed as a show of force.

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

"We are sending an armada", President Donald Trump said on April 12.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump's point was he's ready to defend allies. Several times over the last two weeks, the Trump administration said the ships were heading north. That's not what we ever said. Now, Defense Secretary James Mattis insists the United States is going to send the strike group to North Korea, and that they definitely mean it this time. His answer made it sound like the carrier group was indeed racing to the region.

North Korea didn't conduct a nuclear test on Kim Il Sung's birthday, which is the country's biggest holiday.

The president said we'd have an armada going towards the peninsula.

The Koreans did try to test a missile, but it exploded seconds after launch.