A stealth F-22 Raptor fighter at Andrews Air Force Base, September 16, 2017 in Maryland
South Korea and the United States kicked off their most important joint air exercise on Monday, the North-trained maneuvering for „total provocation“ days after Pyongyang fired a powerful missile .
The Vigilant Ace exercise, involving about 230 aircraft, including F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and tens of thousands of soldiers, began in the morning and is expected to last five days, according to the South African Air Force. Korean.
North Korea has denounced the move in advance, accusing US President Donald Trump’s administration of „wanting nuclear war at all costs.“
This type of maneuver never fails to arouse the anger of Pyongyang who considers them as the repetition of the invasion of his territory. Tensions are rising and the North is doing its own drills, including missile fire.
Joint maneuvers are being organized five days after the North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting, according to him, any site in the continental United States.
US Presidents Donald Trump and South Korean Moon Jae-in at President Trump’s Visit to South Korea, November 7, 2017 in Seoul
In this context of tension, an influential US Senator, Lindsey Graham, felt that the specter of a „preventive war“ was getting closer.
„If there is an underground nuclear test, it will prepare for a very serious response from the United States,“ warned Graham on the US channel CBS.
Since 2006, the reclusive country has conducted six nuclear tests, including the most powerful in September.
Lindsey Graham, a foreign policy hawk, said the Trump administration’s strategy was „to prevent North Korea from acquiring the ability to strike the United States with a nuclear-powered missile.“
„Preventing it means a preventative war as a last resort.“ This prevention becomes more likely as their technology improves – every missile test, every underground test of a nuclear weapon means that marriage (d ‚a missile and a nuclear warhead, ed) is more likely,‘ added the senator.
– Rhetorical war –
US Senator Lindsey Graham, March 20, 2017 in Washington
These remarks echo those of Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, General HR McMaster, who said the likelihood of a war with North Korea „is increasing every day.“
„We are in a race to find a solution to this problem,“ said General McMaster.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un assured that his country had become a full-fledged nuclear state with the ICBM Hwasong-15 trial.
The North asserts that the ICBM can carry an „extra-large heavy warhead“ anywhere in the continental United States.
Analysts believe, however, likely that the Hwasong-15 carried a very light dummy head and that the craft would have struggled to travel such a large distance with a nuclear warhead, much heavier.
Analysts are also unconvinced that the North is mastering the technology necessary to ensure the survival of warheads during the warm-up that takes place when returning to the atmosphere from space.
The missile program of North Korea
North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs are advancing rapidly since Kim Jong-Un came to power in December 2011, despite the UN’s multiple sanctions.
The crisis between the North Korean leader and Donald Trump, who are also launching personal insults, fuel fears of renewed conflict more than 60 years after the Korean War (1950-53).
However, some even in the entourage of Mr. Trump emphasize that his military options are limited, knowing that Pyongyang could launch a barrage of artillery against Seoul, where live 10 million people only fifty kilometers from the border.