USA deploying attack drone system to South KoreaBy Darlene Powers Mar 14, 2017
A unsafe confrontation is rapidly emerging on the Korean Peninsula between the United States and North Korea, with the potential to plunge North East Asia and the rest of the world into a catastrophic conflict between nuclear-armed powers. His murder places considerable strain on China's already troublesome relationship with Pyongyang. Given the present nuclear imbroglio in North-East Asia involving China and the United States, both permanent UN Security Council members, the implementation is likely to remain ineffective. China's government-run media outlets have issued clarion calls for consumers to use their wallets to voice anger with the South Korean government; there have been (tolerated) protests organized by students and retirees; and tourism officials have barred operators from sending tour groups to the South.
The conservative party of Park and acting President Hwang Gyo-an has supported THAAD to defend against a possible North Korean missile attack.
Chinese officials have repeatedly attempted to reassure Washington as well as regional players - particularly Japan and South Korea - that they have Pyongyang under control.
A day later, the US military announced that it had begun deploying a missile defense system that the United States and South Korea agreed to deploy in July.
Meanwhile, Seoul and Washington began their joint military exercise yesterday amid heightened tensions with North Korea following its latest test-firing of ballistic missiles.
North Korea missile expert John Schilling, a contributor to the USA monitoring group 38 North, said any future South Korean leader would have a hard time objecting to THAAD if it meant jeopardizing the alliance with the United States.
The U.S. military is deploying a new Gray Eagle attack drone system in South Korea as it moves to bolster capabilities against a growing threat from the North. "It'll serve Chinese interests best if we step back a bit and give the South a little breathing space to settle their domestic politics".
Whether such tactics by the USA or others could or will ever work is far from clear.
The China-South Korea relations are at their worst since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Seoul in 1992.
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The official noted that the Gray Eagle system could obliterate Pyongyang's critical military infrastructure north of the demarcation line between the two Koreas, including North Korea's operational command, if all-out war was to break out on the Peninsula.
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Over the past year, technological advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes have dramatically raised the stakes.
With the impeachment and removal of President Park Geun-hye, the next president, to be elected in May, will likely take a much softer approach to North Korea.
However, North Korea's nuclear weapons are the greatest impediment to resolving the US-North Korea conflict. He will be faced with a range of options that include opening a dialogue with North Korea, adding new sanctions or even launching a preemptive strike on North Korea's facilities.
Relations with the North are a key consideration for any South Korean government, and over the years, different governments have tried different policies in their attempts to coexist with a volatile and risky regime in Pyongyang. But, before taking such an action, the new administration in Washington has to calculate China's potential response.
That same tactic should not be replicated by Tillerson and the Trump administration, said Narushige Michishita, a foreign policy professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Since then the DPRK has accelerated its progress, testing new nuclear devices in 2009, 2013, and then two more a year ago. While China has recently banned the trade of some items, the list is still not exhaustive.
US troops are stationed in both South Korea and Japan, which rely on the USA for a "nuclear umbrella" for protection in the region.
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