The United States ratcheted up its rhetoric ahead of North Korea's military parade and failed missile launch over the weekend, and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday declared that the era of USA "strategic patience" in dealing with Pyongyang was over.
As the White House was talking about sending a naval "armada" to the Korean peninsula, the very ships in question were on their way to participate in military exercises in the Indian Ocean, some 3,500 miles in the opposite direction.
Officials said Tuesday that the false narrative about the Carl Vinson resulted from mistakes and miscommunication up the military chain of command to the White House, and was not part of a deliberate military attempt to psych out North Korea's leaders and mislead the public.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis looked to address confusion over the issue on Wednesday, telling reporters traveling with him in the Middle East that the adjustment in the Vinson's schedule had been disclosed in the interest of transparency.
"We don't generally give out ship schedules out in advance, but I didn't want to play a game either and say we were not changing a schedule, when in fact we had".
The Pentagon announcement eight days ago that a USA aircraft carrier combat group was steaming toward the Korean Peninsula had raised speculation about a preemptive US strike on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
"It goes without saying that it is a matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well peaceable settlements of the issue", the prime minister said.More news: Tip-in by Ryan lifts Senators over Bruins 4-3 in overtime
The remarks about the group's dispatch has further driven up the already high tensions, with North Korea responded to the reported dispatch with harsh rhetoric.
The strike force has now been redirected and is heading toward the Korean Peninsula.
And a picture dated April 15 shows the Vinson in the Sunda Strait, which separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.
"She's stationed there in the western Pacific for a reason", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.
On Wednesday, the US Navy posted photos to its website of the USS Carl Vinson in a location in the South China Sea, on what it describes as a "regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment".
"We are sending an armada, very powerful", Trump told Fox Business News, warning that Kim Jong Un "is doing the wrong thing".