Australian news, and some related international items

US-South Korea Provocations in the Pacific

Consortium News, September 14, 2022, The resumption of the recent joint military exercises is viewed with alarm by China, which, like North Korea, has repeatedly pointed to U.S. attempts to set up a NATO-like organization in Asia, writes Aditya Sarin.

By Aditya Sarin Peoples Dispatch Sept 16 2022,

Between Aug. 22 and Sept. 1, the United States and South Korea concluded their largest joint military drills in the Korean Peninsula since 2017, under the name “Ulchi Freedom Shield.” Over the last four years, the scope of the annual exercises had been scaled back, first because of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempts at diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and later because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

With these drills, however, the U.S. and South Korea seem to be attempting to send a clear message to both North Korea and China of their united military posture in the region, and come at a time when the U.S.’ encirclement of China continues rapidly.

The U.S. has maintained a force of at least tens of thousands of troops in South Korea (officially the Republic of Korea, or ROK), since before the Korean War. While South Korean forces are otherwise independent, at times of war they are subordinated to the command of a U.S. general as part of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command. With 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there, South Korea has the third-highest number of U.S. troops of any country outside of the U.S.

While the recent exercises have been conducted against a nameless enemy, it is not hard to see towards whom their message is aimed. The site of the exercises was only 32 kilometers from the border and De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Live-fire tank and troop maneuvers have been practiced as the U.S. and the ROK engage in simulations and seek to increase interoperability of their deployments and technologies…………………………………….. more

September 15, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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