In a joint operation with South Korea the United States has begun “fly-overs” along the Demilitarized Zone in an obvious attempt to deter further aggression from the North Korean military. According to Press Secretary Carney the Obama administration is dedicated to maintaining peace in the region. However, Carney has been quoted in a South Korean news agency as saying: “This means deterring North Korean aggression, protecting our allies and the complete de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
In a press release from United States Forces Korea operation “Foal Eagle” which began March 1sst and continues through April 30th is “a series of 20 separate but inter-related joint and combined field training exercises conducted by Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea components spanning ground, air, naval, expeditionary, and special operations. The exercises include both US and ROK forces and they are the culmination of many months of planning.”
As President Obama visits Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, the US has been reported to be flying B-52 bombers in the region as a deterrent for further aggressive maneuvers from the north.
Many national security analysts have chalked up these latest threats by North Korea as nothing more than sabre rattling but with this latest move by US military in the region it looks as though the United States is beginning to take the threats more seriously. In fact Carney has been quoted as saying: “the U.S. will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States.”
Whether this is simply tough talk to discourage North Korea or a legitimate threat of return aggression by the US is still undetermined.
According to the afore mentioned press release approximately 10,000 US troops will be joined with an undetermined number of Republic of Korea troops in the month long exercise which is stated as being “deterrent in nature.”
The amassing of troops and the timing of this exercise would seem to be a direct response to North Korea’s threats to the south as well as the United States. What may come of this show of force is still up for debate. One thing that is sure is that the United States is preparing for the worst.