In light of the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was recently released back to the U.S. from North Korea, supersonic B-1B bombers were flown over the Korean Peninsula during drills with South Korea as a show of force.
The incident involving Warmbier has flared already heightened tensions between America and Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, leaving many wondering whether or not actual military action will be taken against the country for its many violations of the law.
According to the Daily Mail:
South Korea says the United States has flown two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force during joint military drills.
U.S. and South Korean warplanes regularly conduct drills, but Tuesday’s flights came shortly after the death of a U.S. college student who was recently released by North Korea in a coma following more than 17 months of captivity.
Seoul’s Defense Ministry said the B-1B bombers were part of routine exercises with South Korea aimed at showing deterrence against North Korea.
The U.S. military said the bombers conducted drills with the Japanese and South Korean air forces, demonstrating solidarity with the U.S. allies. The United States stations tens of thousands of troops in South Korea and Japan.
Further details from ABC News:
The U.S. military said the bombers conducted two separate drills with the Japanese and South Korean air forces. It said the flights demonstrated solidarity among South Korea, Japan and the United States “to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater.”
The United States stations tens of thousands of troops in South Korea and Japan.
The family of American college student Otto Warmbier said the 22-year-old died Monday, days after his release from North Korea. Analysts say his death will likely cast a shadow on relations between the U.S. and North Korea and compound efforts by South Korea’s new liberal president, Moon Jae-in, to improve ties with the North.
Moon said in an interview with CBS television broadcast Tuesday that Warmbier’s death showed “we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime,” but that talks are still necessary because “we were unable to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through only the sanctions and pressure.”
Sooner or later, some sort of message is going to need to be sent to Kim Jong Un, that he’s not nearly as powerful or well protected as he believes, otherwise, he’s going to continue stepping over the line and it’s going to get more people killed.
It’s pretty clear the North Korean government is responsible for the death of Warmbier, and some form of justice needs to be exacted, but what that looks like is anybody’s guess.
One thing’s for sure, it certainly looks like there’s trouble brewing on the horizon, and North Korea will be the ones crying with pockets full of regret if things escalate further.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]