Vinson carrier group expected off Korea in late April

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the Navy had posted an April 15 picture showing the strike force in the Sunda Strait instead, an area thousands of miles away from the Korean Peninsula.

The article also dismissed speculation that the strikes groups for the carriers USS Ronald Reagan and Nimitz could join with the USS Vinson. Though the White House directed any comments on the matter to the Pentagon, the reporters note that they were told that officials were puzzled about why the Pentagon had not corrected the timeline of events in light of the incorrect comments coming from the White House.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Sunda Strait.

However, when the announcement was made, the naval strike group was still headed towards Australia, where it was scheduled to take part in joint military exercises, 5600km away.

"Third Fleet ships operate forward with a objective: to safeguard US interests in the Western Pacific.", Benham said. A spokesman for the Pacific Command linked the deployment directly to the "number one threat in the region", North Korea, and its "reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing program of missile tests and pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability".

In an interview a week ago with Fox Business Network, Trump declined to outline his potential strategy against North Korea, but added that "we are sending an armada, very powerful. You never know", Trump responded.

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"We are sending an armada".

"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", he added.

The latest known location of the USS Carl Vinson was earlier reported by the United States military news outlet Defense News.

"We feel the increased presence is necessary", the official told Reuters, citing North Korea's worrisome behavior.

Vice President Mike Pence says the US commitment to South Korea is "iron-clad and immutable" in the face of North Korea's work to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile program. The communist state has conducted two nuclear tests and test-fired almost 30 missiles since previous year.

The Independent reported last week that China sent 150,000 troops to the North Korean border following a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. The failure came as Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the South for talks.

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