That actually wasn't the case - despite implications from the Trump administration, the USA didn't have an aircraft carrier strike group near North Korea last weekend.
- NBC News' Courtney Kube contributed reporting.
Joel Wit, a co-founder of the 38 North programme of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, said the matter was "very perplexing" and fed into North Korea's narrative that America is all bluster and doesn't follow through on threats.
'We have said again and again all parties need to work together to de-escalate the tension instead of being provocative because provocation can not achieve the goals, ' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said during a press conference on Wednesday.
This counters the U.S. Pacific Command's announcement that it was approaching waters near the Korean Peninsula.
170419-N-WA993-258 YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 19, 2017) Vice President Michael R. Pence greets service members on the flight deck of the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), in Yokosuka, Japan, April 19, 2017. The next day, the U.S.
Three days earlier, U.S. Pacific Command said the Carl Vinson was directed to sail north from Singapore to a Western Pacific Ocean post.
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On April 9, the Navy announced that Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of US Pacific Command, ordered the strike group to forgo the previously planned port visits to Australia and return to the Western Pacific Ocean.
Questioned on Wednesday at the daily White House briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer insisted the administration did not mislead anyone. It's prudent. But it does a lot of things. "It ensures our - we have the strategic capabilities, and it gives the president options in the region", Spicer said. Following the April launch, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a three-sentence statement acknowledging the launch: "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea".
Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.
But he added: "As all of you know, readiness is the key. You never know", Trump replied.
"They're just out there, doing their jobs, and I know that they all know what they have to do and are very well trained, so I try not to get too nervous", she said.
Despite multiple reports to the contrary, the Vinson and her escorts appear to have headed away from Korea last week: Navy officials confirmed to Defense News that the carrier was indeed in the Sunda Strait on Saturday, 3,000 nm from the scene of the diplomatic tensions.