According to the latest bevy of statements released by Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime, war with the United States is an inevitability. Their remarks follow the onset of a massive joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea that has been planned for over a year, but that many in the international community have attempted to construe as a response to Kim’s most recent ballistic missile test.
According to North Korea’s statements, which were attributed to an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson, it is not simply the military drills, but a series of “bellicose remarks” made by senior U.S. officials like CIA Director Mike Pompeo that are driving tensions toward war.
“The large-scale nuclear war exercises conducted by the U.S. in succession are creating touch-and-go situation on the Korean Peninsula and series of violent war remarks coming from the U.S. high-level politicians amid such circumstances have made an outbreak of war on the Korean Peninsula an established fact. The remaining question now is: when will the war break out,” the spokesman said.
Of course, the use of the word “nuclear” once again demonstrates either a lack of understanding of U.S. assets in the region, or an intentional choice to portray the United States as the aggressor. Although North Korea has repeatedly issued threats of preemptive nuclear strikes, thus far, the United States has deployed no nuclear assets to the region whatsoever. Even the B-1B Lancer bomber so often associated with nuclear weapons throughout the mainstream media is non-nuclear capable. Although it did start its life as a nuclear bomber, the aircraft’s hard points were converted to ensure it can’t carry a nuclear payload as a part of a long standing denuclearization treaty with the Russian government. To this day, Russian experts are permitted the opportunity to inspect America’s fleet of Lancers once per year to ensure the hard points have not been converted back.
“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” the spokesman said. “We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the U.S. miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the U.S. dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened.”
Ironically, rhetoric from American ally South Korea also cites the looming threat of nuclear war, though their statements are founded in previous threats levied by Kim’s regime. In their statement about the drills, which saw the inclusion of mock bombing runs conducted by the aforementioned B-1B Lancer, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff use the word “punish” to describe their intentions toward North Korea.
“Through the drill, the South Korean and U.S. air forces displayed the allies’ strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles,” the South Korean military said in a statement.
The joint U.S. and South Korea drills have seen participation from over 200 aircraft, including America’s most advanced military aircraft: six F-22s and 18 F-35s made for an impressive display of airborne superiority that, while planned well ahead of time, must have been seen as a significant statement by Kim’s regime as they conducted operations just outside of North Korean airspace.
Image courtesy of the Dept. of Defense