The guided-missile submarine USS Michigan has arrived in South Korea today, and with a carrier strike group still en route, talk of the US attacking North Korea is growing more than ever. North Korea today carried out a live-fire drill of their long-range artillery.
This artillery drill appears to have been intended to underscore North Korea’s substantial retaliatory capability in the event of a US attack. North Korea has enough artillery to not only cause large casualties to US troops stationed in South Korea, but could wipe out large portions of South Korea’s capital city in a purely conventional strike.
The fear of a US attack is palpable, and with the Pentagon rushing their THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea, there is a sense that they are planning to do something in short order that would need them to be able to shoot down retaliatory missiles.
The problem with that is that while North Korea has a significant missile program, their artillery is much more significant, and the missile defense would not be able to do much about the artillery.
With speculation that the US may attack at the next North Korean nuclear test, China is again trying to calm down the tensions, issuing a warning today not to carry out any such tests, saying it would move relations beyond the “point of no return.”