During his Asia-Pacific trip, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has filled his speeches with words of reassurance to allies in the face of an escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
US misleads allies on DPRK deterrence effortDuring his Asia-Pacific trip, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has filled his speeches with words of reassurance to allies in the face of an escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula. CGTN’s Jessica Stone has more.
“The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” said he said on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Japan.
The USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group is supposed to be a symbol of that reassurance. But while U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, indicated last week the carrier was headed to the Korean peninsula to deter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from launching a missile or testing a nuclear device, U.S. Navy images – dated April 15th – show it was not.
It was 3500 miles away, going in the opposite direction.
A senior administration official told CGTN that before April 9, the White House had decided to move the carrier group towards the Korean peninsula after naval exercises with the Australians in the Indian Ocean.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis now said the flotilla won’t go until this week.
“She will be on her way and I’ll determine when she gets there,” Mattis told reporters traveling in Saudi Arabia.
While neither Japan nor the Republic of Korea had any immediate official response, a leading South Korean presidential candidate told the Wall Street Journal, “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”
The message of reassurance the U.S. is trying to send, has been apparently undercut by reality.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone asked White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer how the White House was explaining the situation to its allies: the Republic of Korea and Japan.
The statement that was put out was that the Carl Vinson group was headed to the Korean peninsula. It is headed to the Korean peninsula.”
Pence told a reporter aboard the USS Ronald Reagan he believes Trump meant to signal that the U.S. is ready to defend its allies.
With escalating rhetoric from both Pyongyang and Washington about the future of the peninsula, it’s a message the region still wants to hear.