WASHINGTON, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The Pentagon announcement eight days ago that a U.S. aircraft carrier combat group was steaming toward the Korean Peninsula had raised speculation about a preemptive U.S. strike on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
However, on Saturday, when the DPRK showcased its military muscle during a massive parade in Pyongyang, the USS Carl Vinson strike group, described by President Donald Trump as his "armada," was sailing in the opposite direction, participating in a joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean.
The Pentagon had so far declined to comment on the movement of the vessel.
According to Defense News, several U.S. Navy officials who spoke off the record "expressed wonderment at the persistent reports that the Vinson was already nearing Korea."
"We've made no such statement," Defense News quoted one official as saying.
However, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did tell reporters that the Carl Vinson was "on her way up there."
"She (Carl Vinson) operates freely up and down the Pacific, and she's just on her way up there because that's where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time," said Mattis on April 11.
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