As Trump warned North Korea, his 'armada' was headed towards Australia

An aircraft carrier the US Navy said was steaming toward the Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions has not yet departed, a US defense official acknowledged Tuesday.

However, yesterday the US Pacific Command said that while it had cancelled a planned port visit to Perth, the USS Carl Vinson and accompanying warships had in fact headed to north-west Australia to take part in planned exercises. "My understanding is that this US administration is dead serious, it's been 40 years of trying to get the North Koreans to back away from the nuclear weapons".

AMERICA'S allies in Asia were silent yesterday over confusion about a U.S. aircraft carrier group supposed to be heading toward North Korea in a show of force, but actually completing training exercises in Australia.

The group consisted of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, weighing 97,000 tons with 60 aircraft, as well as two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser.

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".

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters April 11 that the Carl Vinson was "on her way up there".

While Pacom made reference to the Carl Vinson's participation in an Indian Ocean exercise around that same time in at least one media report, its statements about the ship's location remained unclear, and most outlets continued to report the ship's movement toward Korea. That means it was even farther away from the Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un conducted his failed missile test over the weekend.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster called the decision to send the ships toward North Korea "prudent". "Very powerful", US President Donald Trump told the Fox Business Network.

According to Defense Department officials, the Carl Vinson is now on its way to the Korean Peninsula and is expected to arrive next week.

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"Third Fleet ships operate forward with a goal: to safeguard US interests in the Western Pacific".

It did not conduct a nuclear weapons test or attempt an attack on South Korea or Japan, which might have prompted a military crisis.

A fleet of warships President Donald Trump claimed he had deployed into waters near the Korean Peninsula were in fact heading in the opposite direction.

"We are doing exactly what we said we were going to do".

The U.S. Navy posted a photo of the aircraft carrier sailing Saturday in the Sunda Strait off the coast of Indonesia.

But although the USS Vinson carrier group headed into the South China Sea, it didn't continue north towards the Korean Peninsula.

"There's not a specific demand signal or specific reason why we're sending her up there", he said.

A senior administration official blamed a "lack of follow-up" for the blunder.

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