The United States of America, South Korea, and North Korea have all made fresh moves to escalate the already tense situation in the Korean peninsula.
The USA has sent F-22 stealth jets to join military drills being conducted in cooperation with South Korea. Meanwhile the government of South Korea has warned of a swift and strong response to any ‘provocations’ from the North. Across the border in North Korea, Pyongyang has vowed to increase its nuclear arsenal.
The United States and South Korea are still officially at war with North Korea, after the 1950-53 war between the two sides ended with an armistice but no final peace deal.
Tensions have been rising in the region since the announcement of a fresh round of UN sanctions against North Korea, which provoked a third nuclear weapons test from the isolated communist state, setting off a chain of rising rhetoric and tit-for-tat escalations from both sides.
The United States announced on Sunday that it is to send F-22 stealth fighter jets, which are able to evade radar tracking, to join military drills being conducted in South Korea. The F-22 jets, which were previously stationed in Japan, will be deployed to the Osan Air Base in South Korea. South Korea and the United States claim that the military exercises are designed as a show of force and of solidarity to deter provocations from the North, whereas North Korea sees them as preparations for war.
“(North Korea) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” said a statement from the U.S. military command in South Korea which announced the F-22 deployment, without acknowledging the irony of condemning threats and provocations within a statement announcing a new and threatening provocation….