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

The story unravelled when the US Navy released a photograph showing the Carl Vinson thousands of kilometres away in the Sunda Strait, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, on Saturday, the same day Kim Jong-un was making a show of his military arsenal in the streets of Pyongyang.

According to the United States daily, the White House said that the order to send the aircraft carrier to the East Sea could send a powerful signal to counter North Korea, while President Trump told Fox News in the afternoon of the same day that "we send an armada".

Spicer denied that the White House's statements about the ship movements were misleading, because the ships were eventually going to the peninsula.

"Both South Korea and the U.S. are in close cooperation to deter North Korea's provocations and to pursue peace and stability of the Korean peninsula", a South Korean Defense Ministry official said.

A spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command said the move was to "maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific". The drill comes as an apparent show of force aimed at deterring North Korea, which will mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its military next week. They are now headed directly toward the peninsula.

In Saudi Arabia Wednesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis shed some light on what had happened.

"It is headed to the Korean Peninsula".

That was when tensions peaked over the possibility of North Korea's nuclear or missile test on the occasion of the birthday of national founder Kim Il-sung.

White House defends portrayal of 'armada' push toward Korean peninsula
The U.S.is trying to ratchet up pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. Officials said there had been a lack of follow-up with commanders overseeing the aircraft carrier's movements.

Although the US first signaled the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier would head to the Korean peninsula on April 8, the US Navy has again publicly stated that the carrier is nowhere near it's intended destination.

Senior Trump administration officials blamed a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House for earlier incorrect reports that the USS Vinson was already on its way to the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Pacific Command said it would not discuss specific timing of future operations because of security concerns.

Trump on Thursday will receive Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House. We understand that it would have been hard for the Defense Ministry to declare that the USS Carl Vinson has not actually changed course before the USA said anything.

"We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you".

"This represents a general direction that we believe is correct and should be adhered to", Lu said.

The Carl Vinson strike group, which includes the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, two guided-missile destroyers and a cruiser, is reportedly heading to waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to local media.

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