Much Vaunted US Carrier Strike Group Actually Nowhere Near North Korea

The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participating in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. has warned North Korea that the country needs to cease its nuclear tests, with President Donald Trump telling dictator Kim Jong-un that he has "got to behave", the Daily Mail reports.

Last week the White House announced a US aircraft carrier was heading toward the Sea of Japan, when it was really moving away from the location. It said the group would skip out on "previously planned port visits to Australia".

The April 15th snapshot showed Carl Vinson, which is accompanied by two guided-missile destroyers, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, and not in the Sea of Japan, as indicated by the White House.

But an image published by the Navy shows the aircraft carrier off the coast of Indonesia on Saturday, south of where the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group had departed, not north.

On April 8, the aircraft carrier and its strike group left Singapore.

The mix-up comes after Trump announced he was sending "an armada", a "very powerful" one. "It ensures our - we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region".

Speaking to Fox News, the USA president said of the aircraft carrier's re-routing: "We are sending an armada, very powerful".

It is not clear whether the failure to arrive was a deliberate deception, perhaps created to frighten North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, a change of plan or simple miscommunication, the BBC's Korea correspondent Stephen Evans says.

The Trump administration cited the deployment of the naval strike force, which includes the carrier and four warships, as a clear warning to North Korea, which was said to be planning a nuclear test last weekend in conjunction with a national holiday.

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

"It's been less than 100 days and our secretary of state has basically said he's going to stop talking about North Korea", Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, told Blitzer.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis on 11 April said the Vinson was "on her way up" to the peninsula. As the New York Times reports, a few ships are not where the Trump White House said they were.

"After departing Singapore on April 8 and cancelling a scheduled port visit to Perth, the Strike Group was able to complete a curtailed period of previously scheduled training with Australia in global waters off the northwest coast of Australia".