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US pilot ejects from jet approaching carrier headed for Korean peninsula

21 April 2017

"North Korea is looking for trouble".

Soon after bombarding Syria and Afghanistan with missiles and a huge bomb, the USA said it had ordered its flagship aircraft carrier strike group, which was already here last month for a joint drill with the South Korean military, to head back toward the peninsula.

The world was then rattled by the revelation that the USS Carl Vinson was not returning to waters off the peninsula, or at least when the USA said it was.

"Japan wants to dispatch several destroyers as the "Carl Vinson" enters the East China Sea," said one of the Japanese military sources, as cited by Reuters. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.

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"The president said that we have an armada going toward the peninsula", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing on Wednesday, referring to President Donald Trump's statement last week that he was sending an "armada" to North Korea.

In remarks to reporters at the Pentagon on April 11th, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said that "she's stationed there in the western Pacific for a reason".

It turns out the carrier group was never actually steaming toward the peninsula, but rather heading to joint exercises with the Australian navy. Some American media reported that the USS Carl Vinson and her escort ships were operating near Indonesia.

Earlier this week, a senior White House official accused the military of misleading the president and his team about the deployment of the 'Carl Vinson', according to the Wall Street Journal.

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He said the situation on the Korean Peninsula is already very complicated and sensitive and tense, and all relevant parties who do not wish to see an escalation of tension shall speak and act in a constructive way. "It ensures our - we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the President options in the region", Spicer said on April 11.

Pyongyang continues to test fire ballistic missiles, part of a larger program created to build a device capable of striking North America. Washington threatened to solve the 'North Korean problem' unilaterally, arguing that Pyongyang poses a threat to U.S. interests in the region.

China is North Korea's last-remaining major ally and a key provider of food and fuel supplies.

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