US naval armada to be in Sea of Japan in days

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President Donald Trump previously stated that the "sending an armada" to address the growing threats in the region.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is now stationed at the United States military base in Yokosuka, Japan, but is undergoing maintenance and would not be able to be deployed immediately in the event of an emergency.

Media outlets also ridiculed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for explaining that the strike group would eventually make its way up to Korea. The North has historically marked important anniversaries with provocative events such as missile launches or nuclear tests.

There was confusion over when the strike group would arrive, as the Vinson was taking part in a joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean at that time, thousands of miles from the Korean Peninsula.

National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said on Fox News the next day, it was "prudent" to move the strike group near the Korean Peninsula because "North Korea has been engaged in a pattern of provocative behavior".

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said the Vinson was "on her way up".

On Thursday, the US Navy announced it was extending the Vinson's deployment by 30 days "to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula".

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The next day, the New York Times published a story headlined: "Breaking News: Aircraft carrier wasn't sailing to deter North Korea, as USA suggested".

Trump said early last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea, only for it to later emerge that the aircraft carrier strike group was still far from the Korean peninsula.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy said Friday that a Carl Vinson fighter pilot safely ejected during training in the Celebes Sea and was rescued by a helicopter without suffering injuries.

Tensions have risen sharply in recent months after Pyongyang conducted two nuclear weapons tests past year and carried out a steady stream of ballistic missile tests in defiance of United Nations resolutions and sanctions.

But the Vinson was not immediately headed north.

In fact, the Carl Vinson did take place in the exercises- it was a port call in Fremantle Australia meant to follow the exercises that was cancelled.