US Northeast Asia Saber-Rattlingby Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Tuesday, two US strategic bombers overflew the Korean peninsula, the second time this happened in recent weeks, saber-rattling intimidation, encouraging Pyongyang to accelerate its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Provocative Tuesday US overflights occurred as Trump met with top administration and Pentagon military officials on possible military action against North Korea, war an option almost sure to go nuclear if launched.
If aggressively attacked, Pyongyang will likely respond with all weapons in its arsenal against US regional forces, Seoul and possibly Japan.
On Wednesday, the two US B-1B bombers were accompanied by two South Korean (US manufactured) F-15K warplanes.
After entering South Korean airspace, the bombers conducted air-to-ground missile drills offshore, simulating attacks on the DPRK.
The exercise was repeated with Japanese warplanes, the first time the Pentagon conducted this type drill with both countries on the same night.
Pyongyang believes US regional military exercises represent preparation for war on its country, why suspending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are ruled out.
On the same day, the US Chafee guided missile destroyer provocatively entered Chinese waters off its Xisha Islands, repeating earlier intrusions, angering Beijing each time conducted – even while asking China to cooperate with Washington in constraining North Korea.
The warship conducted what it called a “freedom of navigation” operation without Beijing’s permission, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, explaining:
“China sent military vessels and planes to investigate and identify the US military ship and warned it to leave.”
Washington provocatively challenged sovereign Chinese waters, Hua saying her government will act appropriately to protect its territory and maritime interests.
Next month, Trump will visit Asia for the first time as president. Talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping are planned along with other regional leaders – in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.
A White House statement said his trip intends to “strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
No North Korean threat exists, just a US one in East Asia and everywhere else. As long as Washington threatens the DPRK, denuclearization on the peninsula remains a non-starter.
On Wednesday, South Korean MP Rhee Cheol-hee said 235 gigabytes of military documents were gotten from its Defense Integrated Data Center last September, citing unnamed military officials.
They include highly classified US/South Korean decapitation strikes against DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, his government blamed for hacking the material, no verifiable evidence offered.
Pyongyang denied responsibility for what happened, Seoul accused of fabricating the accusation.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry refused to confirm Rhee’s claim, the lawmaker adding “(t)he plan is fundamental to conducting a war operation and leakage of even a small part of it is very critical.”
“How could we fight against an enemy and win a war if it’s already aware of our strategy?”
Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning declined to confirm or deny if a breach occurred, saying only Washington can deal with North Korean threats – despite none existing.
Preemptive US war on the Korean peninsula remains a high risk. Launching it would be madness – never a deterrent for US hardliners. Imperial interests come first.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.