To dissuade North Korea from soon carrying out nuclear test explosions, the South Korean and U.S militaries flew 20 fighter jets over waters off the coast of South Korea in a show of force.
North Korea is allegedly ready to go ahead with its first nuclear test explosion in five years and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the display involved sixteen South Korean jets and four U.S. F-16 fighter jets – to show North Korea how swiftly they could respond if provocations increased.
The demonstration came after North Korea fired eight surface-to-surface missiles into multiple locations, which was matched by allies, who fired their own missiles into the waters off South Korea’s eastern coast.
The United States has threatened further sanctions against North Korea if they go ahead with the nuclear test, which would be the sixth they have conducted overall.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, met with South Korean and Japanese allies, and warned of a “swift and forceful” response if North Korea goes ahead with their nuclear testing plans.
Following a meeting with South Korea Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong, Sherman said, “Any nuclear test would be in complete violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. There would be a swift and forceful response to such a test,”
“We continue to urge Pyongyang to cease its destabilizing and provocative activities and choose the path of diplomacy,” she said.
Experts have warned that with the next test, North Korea could have the ability to build small bombs, which could be clustered on a multiwarhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a shorter-range missile that could reach South Korea and Japan.
Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson, said the United States remains concerned, and that North Korea could be carrying out its test “in coming days.”
“We have called on members of the international community, certainly members of the UN Security Council’s permanent five, to be responsible stakeholders in the U.N. Security Council as a preeminent forum for addressing threats to international peace and security,” Price said.
“Unilateral actions are never going to be the most attractive or even the most effective response, and that is especially the case because we are gratified that we have close allies in the form of Japan and the ROK,” he said, referring to South Korea’s formal name, the Republic of Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has so far rejected offers from the Biden administration to have open-ended talks but North Korea has a firm ally in China, who supplies the isolated communist country when they need certain supplies and China has been accused for years of aiding North Korea in its pursuit of weapons.
China uses North Korea as a type of attack dog that constantly tests the limits of how far they can push the United States and its allies.