Trump's Korean armada stays near Australia

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster also said it was a "prudent" decision to send the ships to deter the North.

But the vessels were heading the other way for training with Australia's navy. "It ensures our-we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region", he said.

"There is precedent going back to the 1990s and early 2000s where there are provocations timed to South Korean political events", he said. She will be on her way.

US President Donald Trump said he was sending "an armada" to Korean waters to potentially deal with threats from Pyongyang.

"If the USA is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC on Monday. Very powerful. We have submarines.

"Our deployment has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the Waters off the Korean Peninsula", Kilby announced in a Facebook post.

Asked by reporters about this on Wednesday, Spicer insisted that the administration didn't say anything misleading in its past statements on the carrier, as the carrier was bound to wind up in the Sea of Japan at some point.

"The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula. And that could be a logical conclusion from what's just happened", said North Korea expert Joel Wit at the 38 North monitoring group, run by Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

But on Tuesday, Defense News reported that a publicly released photo showed the Vinson off the coast of Indonesia, about 3,500 miles away from the Korean Peninsula, and heading south, not north to its stated destination.

"North Korea is the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", Mr Pence said.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, Dana White, conceded: "This should have been communicated more clearly at the time".

Some Chinese have taken to social media to tease the US.

He added that the presence of tens of thousands of USA personnel in South Korea and Japan "gives me great confidence that the United States presence in the Asian Pacific is strong, and under President Trump's leadership it will be stronger still".

China has avoided directly criticising the United States for lying about the course of its nuclear aircraft carrier, but warned that such actions might compromise regional peace. When Trump originally spoke of the matter he clearly implied - or at least made it seem as if - the Carl Vinson was heading to the Korean Peninsula at that exact moment, possibly resulting in a standoff with North Korea.

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