Last week a consortium of U.S. and South Korean naval forces joined up to conduct drills off the coast of the South Korean peninsula. This takes place within the context of escalating tensions between the North Korean regime and the United States.
These exercises are part of a series of warnings from the U.S. to North Korea who has been making overt threats of a nuclear attack against America, South Korea, Japan and anyone else who expresses condemnation of North Korea’s ongoing belligerence.
Predictably, North Korea has threatened to launch another round of ballistic missiles as a response. In recent weeks the North Korean regime has launched missiles over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. All of this has taken place as President Trump has expressed increasing impatience with North Korea and that nation’s ongoing hostilities which have been constant since the end of the Korean War in June of 1950.
The drills involved the United States’ 7th Fleet carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), and two destroyers. The destroyers followed the carrier, conducting simulated fire support drills while aircraft ran flight drills with fighter planes and various support craft. The South Korean Aegis ship, the Sejong the Great practiced supporting roles along with Orion anti-submarine aircraft in the East Sea.
Despite the appearance that these drills have been launched as a reaction to the rhetoric and posturing of Kim Jong-un, the dates of execution and details of the training operation have long been known and were announced in advance. Kim Jong-un, nevertheless, appears to believe these are intentional provocations, and he has threatened war in response.
Last Monday the U.S. military announced that they would be practicing the evacuation of American non-combatants from South Korea in order to be prepared in the event that war breaks out, according to the New York Times. The evacuation drill, known as Operation Courageous Channel, is intended to prepare U.S. “service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters,” the U.S. military said in their statement on the drill.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has warned on numerous occasions that he and his government oppose a nuclear solution to the North Korean problem as South Korea’s close proximity to North Korea would mean that South Koreans would suffer needlessly. Moon’s advisors estimate that as many as 2 million South Koreans would die in a nuclear conflict with their northern neighbor.
Since the armistice resolution of the war between North and South Korea, South Korea and the United States have been very close allies. Our military aid to the South in the war is considered to have been the deciding factor in their liberation. Today, the United States and South Korea share many similarities in our popular cultures. We have similar values and are both economic giants with many business partnerships between us.
The domineering attitude of North Korea over their southern neighbor stems from a territorial dispute. Kim Jong-un and his predecessors believe they have a right to govern the people of South Korea. This is a fact that keeps the two halves of the country in a constant dispute over who is really calling the shots. However, no other government of the world recognizes North Korea’s claim. Still, many have warned that going into a nuclear war with North Korea would be a violation of the trust between the U.S. and South Korea. It would certainly seem like a ham-fisted solution to the North Korean problem.
But last week, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the government of North Korea, declared that it was the United States that has pushed it into developing a hydrogen bomb. An Tong Chun, the deputy chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea said, “The US have pushed the DPRK to become a possessor of the hydrogen bomb.” He said this in an address to the world’s longest standing international body of lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia. Over 160 nations were represented at the meeting.
At this point, the world is waiting to see if North Korea is willing to test another hydrogen bomb while a massive international naval fleet sits on its doorstep. The fact that the practice group is called a “Decapitation” team seems to go beyond the implication that North Korea is being targeted.
Still, when it comes to the idea of bringing democracy to a “rogue nation,” you couldn’t ask for a more legitimate target.
~ American Liberty Report