Vinson carrier group expected off Korea in late April

American Carrier Not Really Headed For North Korea After All

American Carrier Not Really Headed For North Korea After All

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.

Last Tuesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said at the Pentagon, "She's on her way up there [toward the Korean Peninsula] because that's where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time".

CNN also cited unidentified defense officials as saying that the group would participate in naval exercises with the Australian navy south of Singapore before heading to Korea, and is expected to arrive off the Korean Peninsula at the end of the month.

And a picture dated April 15 shows the Vinson in the Sunda Strait, which separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.

President Donald Trump added to the tension early last week by telling Fox Business News he was sending "an armada" of powerful warships and submarines to waters off Korea. But as part of its regular updates about the operations of the strike group after it sailed from Singapore, the Navy posted photos of ships and aircraft along with captions describing them as underway in "the South China Sea". The White House declined to comment on the misunderstanding, referring all questions to the Pentagon.

Remember that aircraft carrier that Trump sent to deter North Korea?

'A carrier group is several things. It ensures our - we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region, ' he said.

"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". The narrative last week was that the USA and its allies in the Western Pacific were gearing up for a showdown with strongman Kim Jong Un ahead of the anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.

Other top US officials have warned that a potential military option is still on the table when it comes to North Korea.

It has scrapped a planned port visit in Australia as a result of sailing north.