World War 3: Korean Peninsula to the Brink of Nuclear War?
North Korea accused the United States Tuesday of pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in a show of strength.
The 2 supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed on the back of rising tensions over North Korea’s pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of US sanctions and pressure from the United States.
The flight of the 2 bombers Monday came as US President Donald Trump said he would be “honored” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the right circumstances, and as his CIA director landed in South Korea for talks.
South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told a briefing in Seoul that Monday’s joint drill was conducted to deter provocations by the North.
North Korea said the bombers conducted “a nuclear bomb dropping drill against major objects” in its territory at a time when Trump and “other US warmongers are crying out for making a preemptive nuclear strike” on the North.
“The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war,” the North’s official KCNA news agency said Tuesday.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high for weeks, driven by concerns that the North might conduct its sixth nuclear test in defiance of pressure from the United States and Pyongyang’s sole major ally, China.
The US military’s THAAD anti-missile defense system has reached initial operational capacity in South Korea, US officials said, although they cautioned that it would not be fully operational for some months.
North Korea test-launched a missile Saturday that appeared to have failed within minutes, its 4th successive failed launch since March. It has conducted 2 nuclear tests and a series of missile-related activities at an unprecedented pace since the beginning of last year.
The North is technically still at War with the South after their Y’s 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, and regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea.