The United States is beefing its military presence in Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics which are set to take place next month. The US military has deployed stealth planes with attack bomber capabilities, an amphibious assault ship and at least one Nimitz-class aircraft super carrier in the Korean peninsula. This move has come a week barely after the US under the leadership of President Donald Trump agreed to postpone the annual military exercises that they carry out jointly with their South Korean counterparts until after the Winter Olympics are over.
On its part, Pyongyang has stated that Washington is trying to block their renewed relationship and talks with South Korea. The ruling party in North Korea said that such a move by the United States equates to an unpardonable military provocation which has chilled the atmosphere for any relations between Seoul and Pyongyang. The statements were published in a Pyongyang commentary in the past weekend. A representative from both north and South Korea have made the second round of diplomatic relations near the 38th parallel across the demilitarized zone to pave the way for a delegation from North Korea to join the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. According to officials from the US military, Washington has welcomed the talks between the two countries officially.
The officials added that the annual military training exercises conducted in collaboration with South Korea are for routine check up on their battle-readiness and also to perform scheduled upgrades in the military equipment. The military deployments by the US armed forces in Korea are massive as tensions between Pyongyang and the US remain high. The Pacific Fleet command has stated that three B-2 stealth bombers have been deployed together with over 200 military personnel who were dispatched from Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force base to the Guam Island in the Pacific Ocean. According to the statement, the deployment is focused on providing the free world under US leadership with options for lethal deterrence for the sake of maintaining stability in the Korean peninsula and the region at large.
However, the deployment of US Amador to Guam in the Pacific hits a particularly sore nerve on a fundamental vulnerability for North Korea. This is probably the message that the White House had in thought as it seeks to maintain peace and stability in the region during the Winter Olympics. The deployment is also a message to Kim Jong Un that the postponement of the annual joint military exercises was a tactical move and not a sign of weakness for the side of the US.