WASHINGTON — Turns out the United States didn't have a strike carrier group near the Korean Peninsula in recent days amid tensions with North Korea.
While President Trump said last week he had sent an "armada" as a warning to Kim Jong-Un's government, the carrier USS Carl Vinson and strike force warships were headed instead to the Indian Ocean for joint exercises with the Australian Navy, more than 3,000 miles from Korean Peninsula.
The White House said it based its statements on guidance from the Defense Department.
The New York Times reported that Pentagon officials "described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis."
A Navy photograph over the weekend showed the Carl Vinson in the Sunda Strait near the Indonesian islands.
Defense News first reported the story earlier Tuesday.
Media across the world reported the alleged movement of the Vinson to an area near North Korea, interpreting it as a warning to North Korea over prospective missile or nuclear weapons tests.
The Koreans did try to test a missile, but it exploded seconds after launch.
In an interview a week ago with Fox Business Network, Trump declined to outline his potential strategy against North Korea, but added that "we are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you."