(CNN) 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.
A senior administration official blamed a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House over reports that the aircraft carrier has not made its way to the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, as an expected show of force to North Korea.
The official blamed the mixup on a lack of follow-up with commanders overseeing the movements of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.
On April 8, US Pacific Command, which oversees military operations in the region, issued a statement saying that the Carl Vinson and an accompanying strike group would leave Singapore and head to the Western Pacific, with a US military official telling CNN that it was a "show of force" in response to North Korea's provocations.
But soon after the Pacific Command statement, US military officials clarified to CNN that the strike group would first complete a previously scheduled military exercise with the Australian navy.