AMERICA’S allies in Asia were silent yesterday over confusion about a US aircraft carrier group supposed to be heading toward North Korea in a show of force, but actually completing training exercises in Australia.
But many Chinese took to social media to joke about it. “American imperialism is a paper tiger,” said one Weibo user. “The aircraft carrier was sleep-walking,” said another.
The US military’s Pacific Command said the Carl Vinson strike group first had to complete a period of training with Australia. But it was now “proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered.”
US President Donald Trump said last week he had ordered the strike group to head for Korean waters.
“We cannot comment on details of US operation of its assets,” a military official said in Seoul, South Korea’s capital.
Japan, the other main US ally in the region, did not comment on the mix-up.
North Korea said the US and its allies “should not mess with us.”
“A nuclear powered aircraft carrier that the United States and its puppet group are loudly advertising is nothing more than a pile of scrap metal in the face of our revolutionary forces’ mighty power,” said the Rodong Sinmun, official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.