Wednesday 26 April 2017

Commentary on North Korea

Live Fire Exercise Duelling in North Korea.

Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

HONG KONG — North Korea staged huge artillery drills on Tuesday to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of the nation’s military, as China pressed its efforts to tamp down tensions over signs that Pyongyang was preparing for a nuclear test.

The long-range artillery drills were conducted near Wonsan, along North Korea’s east coast, according to the South Korean military. They coincided with military maneuvers by the United States and its allies as well as the arrival of the U.S.S. Michigan, a submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, in the port city of Busan in South Korea.

The United States Navy described the arrival of the submarine as “routine,” but its presence reflected the heightened military readiness on both sides of the Korean Peninsula.

In addition to holding joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea, the United States and South Korea have been staging military maneuvers in Pocheon, northeast of Seoul, demonstrating some of their latest weapons. A North Korean state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said last week that the joint maneuvers were taking the tense situation on the peninsula to the “verge of explosion.”…

TOKYO — North Korea’s military conducted huge live-fire drills Tuesday and issued new warnings that it would defend itself against the “American imperialists,” amid high tensions and a military buildup in the region.
But the United States and its South Korean and Japanese allies showed their muscle as well by conducting military exercises of their own.

In addition, one of the largest U.S. guided-missile submarines showed up in the South Korean port of Busan, presaging the imminent arrival in the region of a naval strike group led by an aircraft carrier.

The military buildup on both sides comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and warnings from the Trump administration that “all options are on the table” for dealing with the regime in Pyongyang.

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