IN MY OPINION
Look around. Just any place on our globe. Yes, it’s bur-ning. Natural disasters, terrorists attacks, war. Will be Asia another one? Heaven forbid – no!
As US, Japanese and South Korean warships carried out joint exercises, Pyongyang marked a national anniversary with an artillery drill. The saber-rattling coincided with a flurry of diplomatic activity in Tokyo.
On Wednesday (April 26, while writing this piece) North Korea conducted a large-scale conventional live-fire military drill in the region of Wonsan on its east coast, South Korea’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed on Tuesday. In a statement, the South’s military said it was “closely monitoring” the situation and “maintai-ning readiness.”
Indeed, North Korea suffers a crisis – South Korea remains relaxed! How long?
International concerns have been heightened in recent weeks that the North could soon carry out another nuclear test or missile launch, in defiance of United Nations sanc-tions. The reclusive country, where 40 percent of the population is undernourished according to the Global Hunger Index, often marks significant anniversaries with shows of military force. Although it was feared a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch might happen on Tuesday, no such test happened during the morning.
The harsh rhetoric continued from Pyong-yang, with a top military general repeating that the North was ready to use pre-emptive strikes to defend itself. “The situation prevailing on the Korean Peninsula is so tense that a nuclear war may break out due to the frantic war drills of the U.S. imperia-lists and their vassal forces for aggression,” General Pak Yong Sik told a major meeting of senior mili-tary and civi-lian officials.
The North Korea to US is very clear: ‘don’t mess with us’! Mean-while the US nuclear submarine docks in Busan.
US President Donald Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from becoming capable of striking the US with a nuclear missile and ruled out nothing including a military strike. As a show of force, he sent the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to waters off Korea. The fleet was carrying out drills with Japanese warships.
South Korea’s navy was also carrying out exercises with US destro-yers in waters off the Korean peninsula.
As the drills continued, the US Navy said the nuclear-powered guided missile submarine USS Michigan arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on Tuesday. The submarine was not expec-ted to participate in joint naval exercises.
Trump’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley said the US wasn’t looking for a fight with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and wouldn’t attack “unless he gives us reason to do something.” She praised China’s increasing pressure on North Korea, seen by Washington as key to reigning in Pyongyang’s military ambitions.
Meanwhile we can observe an increased diplomatic activity. Top envoys from Japan, South Korea and the US held talks in Tokyo, with US envoy Joseph Yun saying he and his counterparts agreed to coordinate “all actions” on North Korea. They also agreed China had a key role in pressuring Pyong-yang to abandon its nuclear and missile program. According to Japan’s foreign ministry, China’s envoy for North Korea was also due to visit Tokyo for talks.
In my opinion, only peace talks help. Let’s continue praying for peace. Not only in Asia.
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