South Korea on High Alert, Russia Denies Deployments Near North Korea

Speculation Grows of Imminent Nuclear Test

by Jason Ditz, April 21, 2017

South Korea has announced that they are putting their military on heightened alert today, citing “high-strength provocations” from North Korea, and growing speculation that Tuesday’s holiday may serve as an opportunity for a North Korean nuclear test.

Fear of a new nuclear test centers primarily on speculation that the Trump Administration will respond militarily to any such test. North Korea has threatened massive retaliation for any US attack, and such a war would quickly put South Korea directly in the line of fire.

Both Russia and China have expressed major concerns about such a US attack, and both would likely be saddled with massive numbers of refugees if fighting broke out. Over the past few days, Russia has reportedly been building up its military force along the border.

Russian officials are denying that the buildup is related to a potential war, however, and rather say that the troop movements are just ordinary scheduled maneuvers, with the border troops returning from drills elsewhere in the region.

While that’s possible, the timing of the troops showing up at the border is particularly noteworthy, and Russia clearly has plenty of reason to want to be ready for a potential US war right off their border. The denial may simply be an attempt to downplay how serious the situation is.

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