Tension on the Korean Peninsula

US Military and South Korea Operation Vigilant Storm

South Korea found 180 North Korean flight trails near South Korean territory this last week, prompting them to scramble 80 warplanes. It all came about after North Korea launched 30 missiles last week. It shows a serious increase in tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim’s hissy fit raises tension on the Korean Peninsula

North Korea (DPRK) launched at least 30 missiles last week, 20 in one day, plus one ICBM on Thursday that triggered evacuation alerts in northern Japan. The US Military and South Korea have been conducting joint exercises called “Vigilant Storm” which has enraged the DPRK. To be clear, the DPRK has been launching missiles regularly in recent months, even apart from the joint exercises. Experts are concerned that the rogue nation could actually use their nuclear weapons, perhaps in a fit of anger. Kim wants the DPRK to be seen as a nuclear nation – his egotistical ambition serves to raise tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Not to mention the DPRK has been secretly supplying weapons to Russia during the Ukraine conflict, according to the New York Post.

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Two US B-1B bombers trained alongside four US F-16s and four South Korean Republic F-35s on the last day of Vigilant Storm, which was Saturday. The exercise utilized approximately 240 aircraft from both the US and South Korea. The bombers marked the first time in recent years that they had been deployed to the Korean peninsula. North Korea refers to the B-1B as a nuclear bomber, but it was reportedly revamped to a standard bomber in the 1990s.

Vigilant Storm had been initially scheduled to end Friday, but the allies decided to extend the training to Saturday in response to a series of North Korean ballistic launches on Thursday, including an ICBM that triggered evacuation alerts and halted trains in northern Japan.

Thursday’s launches came after the North fired more than 20 missiles on Wednesday, the most in a single day. Those launches came after North Korean senior military official Pak Jong Chon issued a veiled threat of a nuclear conflict with the United States and South Korea over their joint drills, which the North says are rehearsals for a potential invasion.

South Korea also on Friday scrambled about 80 military aircraft after tracking about 180 flights by North Korean warplanes inside North Korean territory. The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North Korean warplanes were detected in various areas inland and along the country’s eastern and western coasts, but did not come particularly close to the Koreas’ border. The South Korean military spotted about 180 flight trails from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but it wasn’t immediately clear how many North Korean planes were involved and whether some may have flown more than once. Associated Press

[Caption for video: B-Roll package of 51st Fighter Wing’s F-16’s joined with Indo-Pacific Command B-1B bombers and Republic of Korea F-35A’s in a combined training flight over the Korean Peninsula as part of Vigilant Storm 23, Nov. 5, 2022. Vigilant Storm is a recurring, re-planned training, training exercise that demonstrates the bilateral nations’ interoperability and showcases deterrent capabilities. Video by Staff Sgt Dwane Young]



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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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