This week, the United States and its South Korean ally begin their annual Foal Eagle joint-military exercise, the largest ever, encompassing more than 17,000 U.S. soldiers and more than 300,000 South Korean soldiers, a figure more than double those of previous years, according to South Korean military officials.
During the weekend ahead of these long-planned exercises, the North Koreans threatened a “pre-emptive and offensive nuclear strike” as a response to what they believe are “undisguised nuclear-war drills aimed to infringe upon the sovereignty of the DPRK.”
These threats by the North Korean government are as regular as the annual daylight saving “spring forward” that heralds the upcoming spring season.
In addition to this annual posturing between the Koreans, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, announced the latest technological advance in their ongoing march toward world domination: the miniaturization of nuclear warheads. South Korea dismissed this latest statement as just another outrageous claim by the DPRK. Washington officials concur, though the DoD alerted U.S. ballistic missile defenses to prepare for the unlikely event that Kim Jong-un was being truthful. Along those lines, the U.S. has deployed three B-2 bombers to Diego Garcia to provide “consistent and credible air power” across the region.