Where's USA aircraft carrier going?
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". "Very powerful", Trump said on April 12 during an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo after being asked about North Korea's planned missile launch. "That's a fact. It happened - it is happening, rather".
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said nothing's wrong with Trump's statement. However, last Sunday a Navy commander said the sea-craft was near Sumatra in the South Pacific, and according to reports released yesterday, the Carl Vinson was steaming south instead of north when the White House made the statement.
A US aircraft carrier the Navy had said was heading toward the Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions has not yet started sailing to the region, a USA defense official acknowledged Tuesday.
On April 15, the US Navy even published a photo showing the Vinson transiting the Sunda Strait on its way to drills with Australia. Citing missile tests, he then said North Korea remained "the number one threat in the region".
The BBC's Korea correspondent, Stephen Evans, says it is not clear whether the mix-up was a deliberate deception, perhaps created to frighten North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, a change of plan or simple miscommunication. "That's a fact", Spicer said.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis on April 11 said the Vinson was "on her way up" to the peninsula.
Tensions between North Korea and the US rose ahead of the isolated nation's annual celebration of its founding, when it was expected to test its nuclear program.
Speaking in Saudi Arabia, Mr Mattis said: "We're doing exactly what we said we're going to do".
On Wednesday, Mr Pence described the country as the "most unsafe and urgent threat to peace and security" in the Asia-Pacific.
Narushige Michishita, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, told the Journal that regardless of whether the US meant to deceive or the narrative was a miscommunication, it looked bad for the White House.
Another reporter warned that United States allies like South Korea and Japan could interpret the mix-up as "false encouragement" that the USA was responding to provocations from North Korea.
"We will continue to be the centerpiece of visible maritime deterrence, providing our national command authority with flexible deterrent options, all domain access, and a visible forward presence".