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Was Trump Lying About Sending Navy Carriers to the Korean Peninsula?

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikPresident Donald Trump listens during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
President Donald Trump listens during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. - Sputnik International
There was confusion last week after US President Donald Trump announced a Navy carrier strike group was heading towards the Korean peninsula, only for it be discovered that the vessels were actually sailing in the opposite direction.

Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear speaks with security analyst Mark Sleboda about whether this was a grand snafu or purposeful deception from the White House.

​"I think there is every possibility that it was an intentional misdirection, an intentional display meant for both North Korea’s perception, possibly China’s as well, but I think most importantly it was meant for the US domestic public," Sleboda reasoned, pointing out that Trump’s “180 degree turn” from the foreign  policy he touted during his campaign has won him applause from critics. 

He said, "And this strategy has largely worked if you watch the editorial pages of the major US newspapers, if you’re watching the major networks, if you’re listening to the foreign policymakers and commentariat, they’re praising Trump, they’re suddenly rejoicing that he’s turning out to be a president more like they would’ve wanted him to be."

Sleboda noted that high ranking members of Trump’s administration were complicit in putting forth the narrative of the strike group headed to the peninsula, saying, "This myth was perpetuated by the White House, by the Defense Department, by the US Pacific Command and was picked up with hysteria first by the US media then by the world media."

Loud and Clear Host Brian Becker noted that the Global Times, considered to be the unofficial organ of the Chinese government, published an article appealing to Pyongyang not to conduct a sixth nuclear test, and that South Koreans were on high alert after hearing the news that what Trump called an 'armada' was heading towards the peninsula. 

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Sleboda said if the US did launch a strike against Pyongyang, it likely wouldn’t use an aircraft carrier, but rather long range strategic stealth bombers and cruise missile strikes.

"I think that probably the Russians and the Chinese must have known that carrier was not heading to North Korea," he suggested, "They have sophisticated global satellites that I’m sure keep track of US aircraft carriers. But they didn’t let on about this. I’m presuming that they would have quietly passed that information on to the government in North Korea, but that is not completely clear."

He also pointed out that, "While North Korea did supposedly conduct a failed missile test this last weekend (during the Day of the Sun) celebration, it wasn’t an intercontinental ballistic missile, it wasn’t a nuclear test, it was actually an anti-ship missile test. Which presumably would have been used as a show of strength against an aircraft carrier, saying 'we are capable of defending ourselves.' So that’s rather interesting."

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