South Korea president Park Geun-Hye’s warned North Korea. President Park Geun-Hye’s We will strike back quickly if the North stages any attack as tensions ratcheted higher on the Korean peninsula amid shrill rhetoric from Pyongyang and the U.S. deployment of radar-evading fighter planes.
North Korea says the region is on the brink of a nuclear war in the wake of United Nations sanctions imposed for its February nuclear test and a series of joint U.S. and South Korean military drills that have included a rare U.S. show of aerial power.
The U.S. continued its ramped-up demonstrations of military might aimed at North Korea this weekend, after sending stealth jets to South Korea on Sunday.
The deployment of two F-22 Raptors from Japan to South Korea comes amid a meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly in North Korea, where Kim Jong Un restated his determination to pursue a nuclear weapons program.
North Korea claims it is currently in a state of war with South Korea and its allies. Media reports indicate troops from the reclusive communist country may be mobilizing at missile sites.
Sending the F-22s had been “planned for some time and is part of the air component of the Foal Eagle exercise,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said Monday, according to Fox News. These joint exercises with South Korea began at the end of February. The two Raptors were deployed to South Korea’s Osan Air Base.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs chairman, says these demonstrations, such as the B-2 flyby March 28, are designed to reassure regional allies such as South Korea and Japan, not to escalate the monthslong war rhetoric.
“The reaction from the B-2 that we’re most concerned about is not necessarily the reaction it might elicit from North Korea, but rather from our Japanese and South Korean allies,” he told reporters Thursday. “Those exercises are mostly to assure our allies that they can count on us to be prepared and to help them deter conflict.”
South Korea the United States played down Saturday’s statement from the official KCNA news agency as the latest in a stream of tough talk from Pyongyang.
North Korea stepped up its rhetoric in early March, when U.S. and South Korean forces began annual military drills that involved the flights of U.S. B-2 stealth bombers in a practice run, prompting the North to puts its missile units on standby to fire at U.S. military bases in the South and in the Pacific.
The United States also deployed F-22 stealth fighter jets on Sunday to take part in the drills. The F-22s were deployed in South Korea before, in 2010.
On its part, North Korea has cancelled an armistice agreement with the United States that ended the Korean War and cut all hotlines with U.S. forces, the United Nations and South Korea.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said North Korea’s announcement that it was in a state of war followed a “familiar pattern” of rhetoric.
China has repeatedly called for restraint on the peninsula.
By. Kim Long
New York News