Jan 10

Soldier_0

US Responds To North Korean Nuke Test, Flies B-52 Over South Korea:

On Tuesday, North Korea announced it had “successfully” tested a hydrogen bomb.

According to Kim Jong-Un, the test was necessary because America is “a gang of cruel robbers” hell bent on waging nuclear war. “This is a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists,” Kim said.

Subsequently, experts weighed in, noting that based on the device’s yield, it likely wasn’t a “true” H-bomb. Nevertheless, analysts said the test showed the North’s nuclear program is evolving, a decidedly unwelcome prospect for Washington’s ally in Seoul.

In a hilariously absurd retaliatory measure, the South resumed anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts across the DMZ.

Adding insult to injury, the loudspeakers were fired back up on Kim’s birthday.

That prompted the North to declare that the peninsula is “on the brink of war.” Now, for the second time in six months, tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang have reached a fever pitch.

And so, just as The Pentagon was “forced” to send a warship and a B-52 to the Spratlys to deter Chinese “aggression”, the US conducted a B-52 flight in South Korea on Sunday. 

“The bomber, which can carry nuclear weapons, flew over the Osan Air Base about 45 miles south of the inter-Korean border around midday local time, the U.S. military said,” WSJ writes, adding that “the B-52, based in Guam, was joined by American and South Korean fighter planes before returning home.”

“This was a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said. Here are a series of amusing tweets from Pacific Command’s official Twitter account:

Kim didn’t immediately respond to the show of force, but as The Journal dryly notes, the North “typically calls such action evidence of the U.S.’s intention to invade.”

Obviously, Washington has no interest in “invading” the North, but the US is quite adept at making a bad situation worse, and sure enough, Yonhap is out reporting that Ash Carter may deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula next month for joint naval “exercises” with Seoul, a move which is sure to infuriate Pyongyang.

In reality, the most effective way to counter Kim would likely be to simply ignore him. Responding to the North’s sabre rattling effectively legitimizes Kim’s threats and sends a message to the North Korean people that the regime actually has some shred of international credibility. In short, it’s critical for Kim to perpetuate a narrative that revolves around a kind of epic, ongoing struggle between the DPRK and America. The US plays into that when Washington does things like fly B-52s near Kim’s borders. As soon as North Koreans figure out it’s all a charade, the music will stop for Kim.

 

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