World War 3 Situation Report
Ready for War
he South Korean and U.S. navies on Monday kicked off massive combined drills off the coast of the peninsula amid heightened tensions.
The allies plan to continue the Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) through Friday in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea, also known as the West Sea.
It involves the U.S. 7th Fleet’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — the USS Stethem (DDG-63) and the USS Mustin (DDG-89).
The carrier strike group will train with South Korean warships and other defense assets, such as the Sejong the Great Aegis ship and P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft in the East Sea.
The joint training is aimed at promoting “communications, interoperability and partnership in the (U.S.) 7th Fleet area of operations,” the fleet said.
It initially announced that the practice around the peninsula will end next Thursday but later corrected the date to Friday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has sent a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber, F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets and several other types of high-profile defense assets to the Seoul air show to open this week.
“Approximately 200 U.S. personnel are expected to participate in the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2017, scheduled from Oct. 17-22 at the Seoul K-16 airport,” the 7th Air Force said.
Among the U.S. military aircraft to join the biennial event are the F-22 Raptor, B-1B Lancer, A-10 Thunderbolt II, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, E-3 Sentry, U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk, it added.
Also fielded will be the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter, the F-35A Lightning II, U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon and a U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook.
“This year’s air show will feature demonstrations from U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska,” the 7th Air Force said.
More than 400 defense firms from 33 countries plan to participate in the ADEX to begin Tuesday.
The United States has been constantly refining military options to use in the event of a war with North Korea, President Donald Trump’s top security adviser said Sunday.
National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster made the remark on Fox News as tensions have heightened over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
“The president’s been really clear about this. He is not going to permit this rogue regime, Kim Jong-un, to threaten the United States with a nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to the North Korean leader. “So he is going to do anything necessary to prevent that from happening.”
McMaster added that military options for North Korea are “under constant refinement.”
“Our military’s getting stronger and stronger and our military leaders are refining, improving plans every day,” he said. “Plans we hope we don’t have to use, but we must be ready.”
Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in the wake of its ballistic missile and nuclear tests this year. Pyongyang claims it is developing a capability to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon to deter American hostility.
“All of our armed forces,” McMaster said, “are getting to a high, high degree of readiness for this mission if it’s necessary.”
Negotiating for Peace
U.S. President Donald Trump wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with North Korea and will continue to work on it “until the first bomb drops,” his top diplomat said Sunday.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the remark in an interview on CNN as tensions have heightened over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“He has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts,” Tillerson said. “Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
Trump appeared to undercut his top diplomat on Twitter early this month, saying Tillerson is “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” a reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” he added.
Tillerson said the president was trying to “motivate action” from a number of people, especially the North Korean regime.
“I think he does want to be clear with Kim Jong-un — that regime in North Korea — that he has military preparations ready to go and he has those military options on the table,” he said. “And we have spent substantial time actually perfecting those.
“But be clear — the president has also made clear to me he wants this solved diplomatically. He’s not seeking to go to war,” Tillerson said.
North Korea conducted a series of ballistic missile and nuclear tests in recent months, demonstrating a growing capability to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon.