North Korea has just warned the United States (Tuesday, March 14th) of “merciless” attacks if its sovereignty or dignity is infringed during the joint U.S. And South Korean naval exercise.
Photo: North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un by KCNA on March_11
This warning is meant for the participants of the Foal Eagle exercise, which includes 5,500 US troops in addition to the permanently stationed 28,000 soldiers that US has in South Korea. The additional forces include the aircraft carrier strike group led by the Nimiz-class carrier USS Carl Vinson. The drills include air, land and sea operations working together with South Korean forces, the effort designed to prepare for a possible conflict with North Korea.
Photo: South Korean Army, missile transporters.
“A bigger number of and more diverse US special operation forces will take part in this year’s Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises to practice missions to infiltrate into the North, remove the North’s war command and demolition of its key military facilities,” an unnamed military official told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
Photo: USS Carl Vinson lead naval strike group.
“If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater,” the North’s state news agency KCNA said (North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).
Photo: Missile launching systems, North Korea
“On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft flew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army,” KCNA said.
After the increased tension between North Korea, it’s neighbours and the US, a missile defense system called THAAD was installed in South Korea by the US. Only last week, North Korea had fired four ballistic missiles into the sea of Japan. This was a show-off response to the oncoming military drills. North Korea has interpreted the actions as preparation for war,
Last week, the US ambassador to the United Nations said President Donald Trump’s administration was re-evaluating its North Korea strategy and, “all options are on the table”.
Photo: THAAD system.
China has opposed to the deployment in South Korea of an advanced US anti-missile system and says that the exercises do nothing to ease tension. China had called on North Korea to stop its weapons tests and for South Korea and the United States to stop their drills.
A state-run Chinese newspaper said the USS Carl Vinson was taking part in a simulation of a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities.
Photo: U.S. Navy simulation room.
“The drills sent the North an explicit radical threat to which it could not be expected to remain indifferent”, the influential Global Times reported. “North and South Korea were ‘equally hysterical‘, it said.
The US and South Korea often accuse China of being uncooperative, but the reality is they are uncooperative over China’s mediation,” it Global Times reported, which referred to complaints that China doesn’t do enough to support old ally North Korea.
Photo: U.S. Navy Seals
To make the ongoing showdown even more explosive, the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and the US’s newest combat aircraft F-35s will be there, reports South Korea’s Joon Gang Daily.
Other South Korean news outlets report that the SEALs would be simulating a “decapitation attack”, or a precision strike in order to remove North Korea’s leadership. This view of course, has not been supported by the US. The Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross, stated that the US military “does not train for decapitation missions” of any kind.
The mission of the F-35s’ is to simulate attacks on North Korea’s missile infrastructure, the South Korea’s Joon Gang Daily further reports. These fighters will be accompanying many of the US’s highest-end platforms, like F-22s and nuclear powered submarine.
About the military drill: “It will send a very strong message to North Korea, which is constantly carrying out military provocations,” a ministry official told Joon Gang Daily.
The stakes will be high during the ongoing military drills, where mistakes in navigation could bring a vessel or an aircraft to cross the territorial waters or airspace of the North Korea. If the retaliation would be immediate the war exercise could turn into a full blown war pulling in China and Russia aswell.
At it’s worst this could mean we would be at the edge of a conventional warfare style World War 3 or even worse; a global thermonuclear war.
Story by Siv Thoresen
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