World

US denies misleading about armada heading for Korea

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump's administration has denied that it misled about a US carrier strike group's push towards the Korean peninsula, saying it never gave an arrival date and that the ships were still on their way.

When Mr Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea, the USS Carl Vinson strike group was still far from the Korean peninsula and headed in the opposite direction.

The US military's Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia, but was now heading towards the Western Pacific.

"The president said that we have an armada going towards the peninsula.

"That's a fact. It happened. It is happening, rather," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Wednesday.

He referred further queries about the deployment timetable to the Pentagon.

The US military initially said in a statement on April 10 that Admiral Harry Harris, commander of Pacific Command, had directed the Vinson strike group "to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific".

But the strike group first headed elsewhere.

On April 15, the US Navy even published a photo showing the Vinson transiting the Sunda Strait on its way to drills with Australia.

- REUTERS

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