White House defends portrayal of 'armada' push towards Korean peninsula | Reuters

By Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday denied being misleading about a U.S. carrier strike group's push towards the Korean peninsula, saying it never gave an arrival date and that the ships were still on their way.When Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an 'armada' as a warning to North Korea, the USS Carl Vinson strike group was still far from the Korean peninsula, and headed in the opposite direction.

Reuters April 20, 2017 02:32:34 IST
White House defends portrayal of 'armada' push towards Korean peninsula
| Reuters

White House defends portrayal of armada push towards Korean peninsula
 Reuters

By Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu
| WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday denied being misleading about a U.S. carrier strike group's push towards the Korean peninsula, saying it never gave an arrival date and that the ships were still on their way.When Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea, the USS Carl Vinson strike group was still far from the Korean peninsula, and headed in the opposite direction. The U.S. military's Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia but was now heading towards the Western Pacific."The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula. That's a fact. It happened. It is happening, rather," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer. He referred further queries about the deployment timetable to the Pentagon.

The U.S. military initially said in a statement dated April 10 that Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of Pacific Command, directed the Vinson strike group "to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific."But the strike group first headed elsewhere, On April 15, the U.S. Navy even published a photo showing the Vinson transiting the Sunda Strait on its way to drills with Australia. here

Reuters and other news outlets reported on April 11 that the movement would take more than a week. But the Navy, for security reasons, says it does not report future operational locations of its ships.Defense Secretary Jim Mattis looked to address confusion over the issue on Wednesday, telling reporters travelling with him in the Middle East that the alteration in the Vinson's schedule had been disclosed in the interest of transparency."We are doing exactly what we said we were going to do. She will be on her way," he said.

The strike group's commander, Rear Admiral Jim Kirby, said in a Facebook post this week that the deployment had even been extended 30 days "to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula." A Trump administration official told Reuters on Tuesday that Washington was concerned about the possibility of some kind of North Korean provocation around the time of the South Korean election on May 9."There is precedent going back to the 1990s and early 2000s where there are provocations timed to South Korean political events," he said. (Additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Riyadh, and David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Writing by Phil Stewart; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
World

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities

Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up
News & Analysis

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field
News & Analysis

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field

By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.