Tags: North Korea | carl vinson | carrier

Tags: North Korea | carl vinson | carrier

Tags: North Korea | carl vinson | carrier

An image from the U.S. military dated on Saturday show the carrier on a "scheduled deployment" at the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, several hundred kilometres south of Singapore.

Rather, the ships were actually operating several hundred miles south of Singapore, taking part in scheduled exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean.

As worries deepened last week about whether North Korea would conduct a missile test, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal and give US President Donald Trump more options in responding to the North's provocative behaviour. It maintains the stance that it intends to conduct its first nuclear test since September previous year, which would be its sixth test, and test-launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The show of force was met with aggressive rhetoric from the North Korean officials, who said on Monday that the US's military moves were creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

"He is doing the wrong thing", he said of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The ships have been dispatched to probe U.S. movements, as the United States continues to weigh possible responses to further North Korean provocations.

At this point, the U.S. had already bombed two different countries, and a U.S. Navy strike group was believed to be on the way to North Korea, which was reportedly planning a sixth nuclear test.

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis initially appeared to play down the deployment on April 11, saying the Vinson was "just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time".

The Korea Herald reported Monday that the USS Carl Vinson is due to arrive in South Korea's eastern waters on April 25, in time for another important date in the North Korean calendar: the anniversary of the army's foundation.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea, declaring that the "era of strategic patience is over" with North Korea.

A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Vinson carried out the exercises after passing through the Sunda Strait and wrapped them up this week.

As North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un led a huge show of military strength - parading the country's new submarine-based ballistic missiles and carrying out a failed missile test - the flotilla of USA warships was about 3,500 miles away.

The official added that the strike group wouldn't be in the region before next week at the earliest - it is thousands of nautical miles from the Java Sea to the Sea of Japan. As it turns out, the carrier was sailing in the opposite direction, and North Korea was preparing for a parade and a failed ballistic missile test.

"Third Fleet ships operate forward with a goal: to safeguard USA interests in the Western Pacific.", Benham said.

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