- The United States and South Korea flew 20 fighter jets amid tensions with North Korea.
- The United States warned that there would be a strong response if North Korea goes ahead with its first nuclear test.
- According to US and South Korean officials, North Korea is reportedly preparing another detonation at its nuclear test zone.
The United States and South Korea flew dozens of fighter jets over waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday in a show of force, with a US official warning there would be a strong response if North Korea goes ahead with its first nuclear test in nearly five years, reported The Associated Press.
Sixteen South Korean planes — including F-35A stealth fighters — and four US F-16 fighters took part in the air show, according to the South Korean General Staff. The operation was intended to demonstrate their ability to respond quickly to North Korean provocations, they added.
Does the US fear a nuclear attack?
The flight came a day after allies launched eight surface-to-surface missiles into South Korea’s eastern waters to match a demonstration by North Korea, which on Sunday launched as many missiles from various locations in what was likely its largest test in a single day.
North Korea may soon be upping the ante, as US and South Korean officials say it is preparing another detonation at its nuclear test site in the northeastern town of Punggye-ri. Their last test and sixth overall was in September 2017, when they claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear bomb. Filed Under: US Launches Warplanes.
US to respond ‘quickly and forcefully’ against North Korea
During a trip to Seoul to discuss the situation with South Korean and Japanese allies, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman warned that there would be a “swift and forceful” response if the North conducts another nuclear test. Although the Biden administration has vowed to seek additional international sanctions if North Korea goes ahead with the nuclear test, the split in the Security Council casts doubt on whether significant new measures can be imposed.
“Any nuclear test would be in complete violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. There would be a swift and forceful response to such a test,” Sherman said after meeting with South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong. Sherman and Cho were scheduled to have a trilateral meeting on Wednesday with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mori Takeo on the North Korean nuclear issue. Filed Under: US Launches Warplanes.
North Korea refuses to negotiate with the US?
Since taking power in 2011, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accelerated his weapons development despite limited resources. Nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been paralyzed since 2019 due to discrepancies over associating North Korean disarmament with the withdrawal of harsh sanctions imposed by the United States.
Kim has accelerated his weapons tests despite growing economic problems and has not been willing to completely give up an arsenal that he considers his main guarantee of survival. For now, his administration has rejected Biden’s offers of open negotiations and is clearly determined to turn the stalled denuclearization talks into a mutual disarmament process according to experts. Filed Under: US Launches Warplanes.
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