The US is trying to coax the North Koreans into attacking first, and then claim they weren’t doing anything provocative – only flying in international airspace (with what we can presume were nuclear-armed bombers).
The problem with this strategy is that the North Koreans, South Koreans, Russians, Chinese and Japanese all have to be ready for these bombers to actually make a strike, and so all missiles on land, sea and submarines will be on a hair trigger.
How will they know whether a nuclear attack is under way? – they will be monitoring for any seismic shock, and in the midst all of this there WAS a seismic shock registered from what everyone is now calling an magnitude 3.4 earthquake at ground level close to the Punggye-ri nuclear site. Was it in fact a North Korean nuclear test? – probably not, as it would be VERY unusual to test a nuclear bomb in the open air in your own country. Then was it a first strike by the US? – probably not, as it wasn’t a big enough quake. Was anyone fooled by this quake into doing something rash? – not this time, phew!
At the same time, 38north.org is reporting that North Korea’s YouTube channel (and others) has been shut down by Google for violating their Terms of Service, how? – they won’t say. This takes a whole batch of historical videos off-line and makes it harder for analysts to do ‘before and after’ comparisons. This is Google’s right, of course, they can host whatever they like on their own site, but shows how censorship like this from Google is totally unaccountable. The solution is to not use Google’s “free” services – switch to https://vimeo.com or one of the others offering streaming services. Google is poison and their stranglehold on the internet should be avoided at all costs.
US flew B-1B bombers just off coast of North Korea
The planes took off from Okinawa, Japan and flew over the waters east of the Korean Peninsula.
“This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take (North Korea’s) reckless behavior,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.
The DMZ is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula near the 38th Parallel, separating North Korea from South Korea. It was created in 1953, following the armistice which ended the Korean War.
The B-1B Lancer strategic bombers entered service in the mid-1980s. The plane was designed specifically as a bomber for nuclear capabilities, thus having a limited capability to carry conventional bombs. Following the demise of the Soviet Union, the role of a bomber for purely nuclear war became questionable, and the Lancer fleet was grounded. The planes eventually underwent a series of modifications, which bolstered their conventional bombing capacity, but deprived them of their nuclear load.
The patrol followed a 3.4 earthquake registered in North Korea earlier on Saturday, which prompted fears of a new nuclear test. The seismic event, however, turned out to be a natural occurrence and “unlikely man-made,” according to geology and nuclear weaponry experts.
The show of force reinforced the recent threats voiced by US President Donald Trump, who vowed on Friday that Kim Jong-un “will be tested like never before,” branding the North Korean leader a “madman.”