Joint military exercises: more tension in the Korean peninsula?

The Chinese government has made it clear that it does not support tension in the region

Joint military exercises: more tension in the Korean peninsula?

South Korea and the United States have begun a series of military exercises that seem to have  increased tension in the Asian peninsula, thus putting the North Korean government on the lookout. Known as 'Vigilant Ace 18', the annual military deployment that runs during the first week of December, this year it was composed of more than 12,000 members of the US Air Force.

According to one of the participants in these trainings, 1st Lt Michael Mayclin, 13th pilot fighter squadron F-16 of the United States Air Force, "Overall, this exercise will help identify shortfalls our fighter squadron would endure if we had to relocate to [South Korea] during a real-world scenario". Such statement, as well as the decision to include the B-1B bomber in military exercises, seem to have increased tensions with North Korea and China, reluctant to this week’s higher tension.

Regarding the military exercises of the Vigilant Ace, the Chinese government has made it clear that it does not support tension in the region and hopes that the parties involved will not scale up the situation. According to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, "it is regrettable that the parties have not taken into consideration the window of opportunity that China had previously proposed”, referring to the proposal to make a dual suspension of military programs in the region.

The "Bone" arrives on the Korean peninsula

The B-1B bomber, also known as the "Bone", is a long-range strategic bomber aircraft that has been previously used  in Afghanistan and Iraq. Its presence in the operations seem to be a response to the military exercises carried out by the Pyongyang government in recent weeks.

Although this type of aerial training has been carried out year after year in the Korean peninsula, its consequences at an international level seem to be more relevant due to the increasing levels of tension handled throughout the year. Since the beginning of Donald Trump's Administration, the uncertainty between the United States and North Korea has been increasing with open threats from both leaders, along with military exercises that demonstrate the capacity of the North Korean missiles in the Asian region.

 

Latin American | Post Laura Delgado

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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