Tensions are rising precipitously tonight on the eve of planned weekend US Naval exercises near North Korea, a move Pacific Commander Admiral Willard described as an explicit “show of force” against the North Koreans.
North Korea has threatened to use their nuclear deterrence to counter the US drill, and has warned that the situation could escalate into a full war between the two sides. The US insists that it will continue the operations as planned and will not accept new talks with North Korea about them.
Tensions have been on the rise for quite some time, with the US and South Korea’s government blaming North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean warship in disputed waters in March. The US is still technically at war with North Korea, and has been so for over 60 years.
Though hasty predictions of a new start to the Korean War are nothing new, it seems the Obama Administration is taking an increasingly bellicose position against North Korea, angrily refusing a formal treaty to end the war, and conducting deliberately provocative drills while complaining that North Korea is behaving too provocatively. All this points to a situation which will continue to deteriorate, whether or not it ever devolves into another shooting war.