After receiving continuous threats of a nuclear attack from North Korea, the United States forces in South Korea and Japan have finally responded in their own separate ways.
The U.S. is flying B-52 bombers on training missions over the Korean peninsula just to show North Korea that the South is not alone. It is a message to the North that it cannot ‘bully’ because it claims to have nuclear missiles on standby and thinks that there will be no reaction from the South because they do not have that kind of technology at the moment.
South Korea now wants to develop its nuclear technology to defend itself from the dreaded North Korean strikes. A recent poll shows that two-thirds of South Korean citizens want their own nuclear weapons, especially after the North’s third nuclear test in February.
This is the second B-52 flight; the first came on March 8 as part of joint military drills with the U.S. which were highly criticized by DPRK and some people from the South. While the justification makes much sense that these U.S. strikes are aiding an ally (South Korea) amid war tension, this can also be viewed as the confirmation of North Korea’s beliefs (or fears) that America is using the South as a platform to launch a nuclear battle.
Also, Japan has seized certain nuclear-related equipment found in a Singapore-flagged ship coming from North Korea. It is a first, after a special law was passed in 2010 to allow Tokyo port to inspect ships connected to North Korea, in case they’d be carrying any nuclear-related material.
Japan and the US in February called on for the main U.N. human rights forum to look into the alleged violations including the torturing of political prisoners in North Korea. And now, Japan has joined the list of countries facing possible North Korean nuclear strike yesterday when the North Korean Central News Agency carried news issued from the Foreign Ministry saying, ‘it will be fatal for Japan to think it is safe if a war breaks out in the Korean peninsula’.