Seoul must sternly counter Pyongyang’s air protest but avoid skirmish : The DONG-A ILBO

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North Korea is boldly stepping up its provocations, escalating military tension. The North fired a mix of two ballistic missiles in the morning on Thursday before staging an aerial protest show by flying in formation with 12 bombers and fighter jets and conducting artillery drills in the afternoon. The South Korean military rushed out more than 30 fighter jets to counter the provocation. At the same time, South Korea, the United States and Japan, as well as South Korea and the United States, conducted joint military exercises involving a US nuclear aircraft carrier in the East Sea.

The air protest from the North is quite unusual. Pyongyang’s conduct of a bombing exercise by mobilizing its aging aircraft despite the shortage of aviation fuel is an unprecedented new form of provocation. In the face of joint exercises by Seoul and Washington and Seoul, Washington and Tokyo in response to Pyongyang’s provocations and the deployment of strategic assets by allies, Pyongyang is apparently determined to go all the way to use all measures at its disposal. and continue acts of threats and provocations against the allied forces. If this situation continues, it will only be a matter of time for the North to fire long-range missiles threatening the American continent and carry out a seventh nuclear test.

Such a tense situation is more serious today than five years ago, when the Korean peninsula faced an imminent war. International sanctions and the pressure measure to suppress Pyongyang’s will is not working and not operational, while Russia, which has the largest amount of nuclear weapons in the world, threatens to use nuclear weapons immediately. Taking advantage of the aggressive mood of this new Cold War era, the North is convinced that China and Russia approve of the Pyongyang regime.

Meanwhile, the three allies, namely South Korea, the United States and Japan, are consolidating the common defense system to counter the threat from the North, which effectively turns the Korean peninsula into the frontier of the duel between North Korea. North, China and Russia against South Korea, USA and Japan.

Most worrying of all is the potential for the North to cross the red line and stage a local provocation. Pyongyang could initiate a firefight in the demilitarized zone or fire artillery rounds across the military demarcation line or the northern demarcation line. Notably, there’s a good chance the North will intentionally cause a skirmish or use a sneaky plot to eventually back down. The South should prepare thoroughly and counter the North’s reckless provocations with firmness and determination to crush the North’s desire for provocations.

In addition, the South Korean government and military authority should demonstrate capabilities to respond calmly and manage crises to prevent an accidental skirmish from turning into an outbreak of war. The current confrontational situation is unlikely to end anytime soon. The South should closely watch the North’s further acts of provocation and react with firmness and determination to weaken Pyongyang and completely exhaust its resources. “Peace through power” is not the boasting of power, but a long-term war that should be based on thorough preparation.

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