News Focus reports:
Mystery persists over U.S. President Donald Trump’s dispatch of an “armada” toward the Korean Peninsula, leaving many people here puzzled and concerned about defense coordination between the allies.
Early this month, the U.S. Pacific Command announced the departure of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group from Singapore for waters near the peninsula.
On April 12, Trump said in an interview with Fox News, “We are sending an armada (to the area). Very powerful.”
A day later, a U.S. Pacific Fleet official told Yonhap News Agency in an email that “USS Carl Vinson and escorts continue to transit the Western Pacific. I cannot comment on future operations.”
News of the Nimitz-class flattop’s imminent deployment around Korea added fuel to military tensions on the divided peninsula.
But it was belatedly found out that the carrier was thousands miles away from Korea last weekend, when North Korea staged a massive military parade in a show of force.
The U.S. warships reportedly held joint drills with the Australian Navy in waters close to Indonesia after sailing in the opposition direction from Korea.
Trump’s ‘armada’ gaffe has stained his credibility, but, if his past ill-informed utterances are anything to go by, probably not indelibly.
He should, however, weigh his words more carefully before he speaks.