U.S. Troops Continue to Threaten the Peace on the Korean Peninsula
August 24, 2014
The latest installment of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific are practicing first-strike attacks against the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) from August 18 – August 29 during an updated version of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercises. Thirty thousand U.S. troops are participating in the exercises along with fifty thousand Korean troops. Under the auspices of the United Nations, troops from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom are also participating.
The United States is the only foreign country with its combat troops stationed permanently on the Korean peninsula. In addition, according to the Department of Defense, "This year, Ulchi Freedom Guardian involves 3,000 personnel from military bases in the U.S. and across the Pacific region."
The UFG exercises have always been provocative exercises typically involving mock evacuations, battles and "games." U.S. forces have even violated the territorial waters and airspace of North Korea on more than one occasion. Every year since 1976 the DPRK has denounced the UFG exercises. In 2012 the U.S. Department of State stopped ignoring the denunciations and started labeling them "provocative" and "bellicose" statements.
According to a U.S. Forces Korea press release, "UFG is routine and defense-oriented, designed to enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula. UFG is planned months in advance and it is not connected to any current world events."
Nevertheless, this year the U.S. is for the first time applying a new strategy called "tailored deterrence." The strategy calls for precautions to be taken in the event of a counter-attack by the DPRK. With the lives of not only the Korean and American people in the balance, the U.S. is trying to turn the situation on the Korean peninsula into a game of Russian roulette.
The DPRK continues to call for Detente but the U.S. actions are creating a very dangerous situation.
War exercises against a country named a target in the U.S. first-strike military doctrine are provocative. War exercises which take place near the shores of the targeted country are twice provocative. War exercises which simulate nuclear first-strike against a country are three, four and five times provocative.
The Democrats and Republicans are both parties of war. The American people demand peace.