White House, Pentagon miscommunicated on aircraft carrier's location

The White House on Wednesday attempted to clarify President Donald Trump's statement last week that he sent the USS Carl Vinson toward North Korea, saying that "the president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula", and "it is happening".

The Vinson's strike group had been scheduled to make port visits to Australia, but on 8 April the US Pacific Fleet announced it would "sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore".

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.

If the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading to the Korean peninsula, it is taking its time.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the warships were, in fact, still in waters off the northwest coast of Australia and would "start heading north towards the Sea of Japan within the next 24 hours".

The Carl Vinson is accompanied by a destroyer ship with an Aegis combat system to track and intercept missiles.

"We're sending an armada", Trump told Fox News on April 11.

However, the Vinson and its battle group were now headed to the Sea of Japan - really, Pentagon officials said.

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"I actually have to give credit to the White House because you have a China that is more engaged than ever before in North Korea", he said.

But soon after the Pacific Command statement, USA military officials clarified to CNN that the strike group would first complete a previously scheduled military exercise with the Australian navy.

CNN also cited US defense officials as saying the aircraft carrier will arrive off the Korean Peninsula at the end of April.

While North Korea did end up test-firing a missile on Sunday, the projectile exploded nearly immediately after launch. "We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier".

After the Navy's image of the ships spread across the internet, the narrative changed. But we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea. Pence says, "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve".

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on Tuesday taunted President Trump over reports a USA aircraft carrier was not at a location previously announced by the White House.

"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", Pence told 2,500 sailors wearing blue fatigues and Naval baseball caps on a sunny, windy morning aboard the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay.

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