Asian nations seem to be more than upset over a miscommunication over a key aircraft carrier group that could potentially launch a strike against North Korea.
The strategic snafu over the USS Carl Vinson’s location this week has left ally South Korea on high alert and wary of President Trump’s credibility.
“What (President Donald Trump) said was very important for the national security of South Korea,” South Korean Presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo told the Wall Street Journal. “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”
Hong, who declined to speculate further until he knew where the carrier was, added “it seems to me that Trump is a person who takes responsibility and action based on what he says,” citing recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan.
President Trump, in an interview with Fox Business Network last week, said “an armada” led by the Vinson was headed toward the Korean Peninsula. But the carrier was thousands of miles away conducting exercises with the Royal Australian Navy.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained on Wednesday that Trump wasn’t trying to mislead the American people.
“The President said that we have an armada going toward the Korean Peninsula. That is fact, it happened. It is happening,” Spicer said.
Even if Trump spoke premature about the Vinson’s destination, a South Korean newspaper wondered whether countries like Russia and China were chuckling over the high seas mix-up, CNN reported.
The newspaper compared the mix-up to North Korea’s “fake missiles” put on display as a scare tactic.
“Like North Korea, which is often accused of displaying fake missiles during military parades, is the United States, too, now employing ‘bluffing’ as its North Korea policy?” the paper questioned, according to CNN.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal, but said the country was in contact with the U.S. over fleet movements.
Chinese news site Guancha.cn, the newspaper reported, however, weighed in: “Media around the entire world have been duped by Trump again!”
Vice President Pence addressed troops Wednesday on the USS Ronald Reagan, currently stationed in Japan, and thanked them before their “imminent deployment,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump hasn’t given out many details on his defense plans because he believes it’ll…