Surprise: US Carrier Nowhere Near N. Korea
If the USS Carl Vinson is supposed to be near the Korean peninsula sending an ominous signal to North Korea, nobody informed the USS Carl Vinson. Despite a slew of reports suggesting that the aircraft carrier was in the area, or about to be, a report at Defense News reveals the reality: The Vinson is currently about 3,500 miles away, taking part in military exercises with the Australian navy south of Singapore. That’s not to say the carrier won’t get to the Korean peninsula, but even if it left now and traveled at its top speed, it would take four to five days, reports Stars and Stripes. Defense officials tell CNN that things won’t happen that quickly: They expect the Vinson and its strike group to arrive off the Korean peninsula around the end of the month.
Just don’t expect an announcement about the destination from the Navy, which doesn’t divulge details about the location of its warships. Stars and Stripes notes that reports suggesting the Vinson was high-tailing it toward North Korea have come from officials in Washington, not the Navy, which has said more broadly that the carrier is moving toward the “Western Pacific Ocean” and avoided any mention of a timetable. Last week, President Trump spoke of “sending an armada” to the region, and reports about the Vinson even caught the attention of North Korea, which called it “nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region.”