On April 9 — nine days ago — the Trump administration announced that it was sending an aircraft carrier and four accompanying vessels to Korean waters. The strike group was supposed to be doing exercises near Australia, but the administration was diverting it in anticipation of a possible North Korean missile test. The scary implication: The US was putting its warships in place in preparation for a possible strike on North Korea.
Except it turns out there was a bit of an oopsie: Despite Trump’s boast last week that he was “sending an armada” to North Korea, as of Saturday, the carrier group in question was still hanging out with the Australian navy off the coast of Indonesia — 3,500 miles from North Korea.
We know this because the Navy told us. On Saturday, as Defense News’s Christopher Cavas reports, the US Navy publicly released photos of the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier in said carrier strike group, going through Indonesia’s Sunda Strait. Cavas called up Defense Department officials, who told him that the Vinson had indeed been in Indonesian waters that day. A subsequent piece by the New York Times, released on Tuesday afternoon, backed up Cavas’s work.