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North Korea (2): The U.S. Attempts Strategic Coercion By Sending F-22 Jets…

As war tension with North Korea escalates further, the U.S. in a serious attempt of strategic coercion against Pyongyang, sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea for providing air superiority support to the ongoing bilateral military exercises:

US F-22 stealth jets join South Korea drills amid saber-rattling – Reuters

The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea on Sunday to join military drills aimed at underscoring the U.S. commitment to defend Seoul in the face of an intensifying campaign of threats from North Korea. The advanced, radar-evading F-22 Raptors were deployed to Osan Air Base, the main U.S. Air Force base in South Korea, from Japan to support ongoing bilateral exercises, the U.S. military command in South Korea said in a statement that urged North Korea to restrain itself. ”(North Korea) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” the statement said. Saber-rattling on the Korean peninsula drew a plea for peace from Pope Francis, who in his first Easter Sunday address called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula. ”Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow,” he said, speaking in Italian. Tensions have been high since the North’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered a nuclear weapons test in February, breaching U.N. sanctions and ignoring warnings from North Korea’s closest ally, China, not to do so. That test, North Korea’s third since 2006, drew further U.N. and bilateral sanctions designed to pressure the impoverished North to stop its nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang responded to the new steps by ratcheting up warnings and threats of war. North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, but Seoul and its ally the United States played down the statement from the official KCNA news agency as the latest in a stream of tough talk from Pyongyang. In a rare U.S. show of force aimed at North Korea, the United States on Thursday flew two radar-evading B-2 Spirit bombers on practice runs over South Korea.

North Korea F-22 Raptor 1

On the other hand, many U.S. senators believe that the young North Korean leader is in need for a military move against the South, in his effort to establish himself, as the new political and military leader in Pyongyang:

House Homeland Security member: North Korea not bluffing – CNN (blog)

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King said Sunday that the recent provocative, warmongering rhetoric out of North Korea is no “empty threat.” He qualified that by explaining he does not fear the North launching a successful attack on the U.S. mainland, but is concerned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “is trying to establish himself … trying to be the tough guy,” and may “box himself in” and need to display some level of military might. ”My concern would be that he may feel to save face he has to launch some sort of attack on South Korea, or some base in the Pacific,” King, R-New York, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

But, the possibility of a full scale war remains rare, according to the analyses of international news agencies:

stating through its KCNA news agency that it is entering a “state of war” with South Korea. This seems like much more serious news than an earlier KCNA story about using nutritious leeks in seasonal dishes, but there’s reason to be skeptical that NoKo’s latest declaration means anything at all. The statement wasn’t accompanied by an actual attack, which would have been the most obvious sign that North Korea was serious about this. Instead, it’s just more chest-beating, this time in response to the “provocation” of the U.S. flying stealth bombers over South Korea. Most seem fairly sure that this is just more posturing from the country that loves its propaganda: ”Few believe North Korea will risk starting a full-out war,” said Reuters. ”What North Korea really wants is legitimacy in the eyes of the U.S. – and a peace treaty,” said the APBloomberg: “North Korea’s rhetoric has had little impact on South Korean stocks, as the benchmark Kospi index closed up 0.57 percent yesterday, headed for its best week in six months.” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency: “Despite Pyongyang’s latest threat, border crossings by South Koreans to and from the joint industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong proceeded normally.” ”WAR!” scream-tweeted Drudge Report, because there always has to be that one guy.

Finally, it is clear that the U.S. and other countries acting as “mediators” have to discover what really Pyongyang wants from the international community? Strategic coercion is the first step but it is not enough for discovering the real will of the new political leadership in North Korea

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