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USA response North Korea missile test: Fleet 3500 miles OFF COURSE

21 Avril 2017

The US Navy said on 8 April that the Carl Vinson strike group was travelling to the Korean peninsula amid tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department.

Democrats are warning that President Donald Trump has a credibility problem as his administration grapples with the prospect of a new North Korean nuclear test.

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.

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

Separately, Rear Adm. Jim Kilby, a commander of Carrier Strike Group 1, announced on April 19 that the deployment of the carrier group had been extended by a month "to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula".

The White House declined to comment on the misunderstanding, referring all questions to the Pentagon.

"But at the same time", Abe added, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue".

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In fairness, neither Trump nor the Navy said when the Carl Vinson was going to head north, so technically no one lied here.

In fact, a week after that announcement, on April 15, an official Navy photo showed the strike group farther away from the Korean Peninsula than it had been at the time of the announcement, passing through the Sunda Straight, in between Java and Sumatra.

The Pentagon's disclosure April 8 that the Carl Vinson carrier strike force was being diverted to waters near North Korea had contributed to rising global tensions over a possible USA conflict with the nuclear-armed regime in Pyongyang.

America's allies in Asia were silent on Wednesday over confusion about a US aircraft carrier group that was supposed to be headed toward North Korea in a show of force, but was actually completing training exercises in Australia.

Stars and Stripes reported Monday that the Carl Vinson strike group was actually making its way toward Australia last week for a planned port visit.

The White House announcement about the nuclear-armed strike force sparked fears across East Asia about a looming catastrophe - as rising tensions between the North and the USA dominated the news.