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U.S./South Korean Military Drills Threaten Peace Talks

U.S./South Korean Military Drills Threaten Peace Talks

Context:

North Korea says joint U.S./South Korean military exercises are jeopardizing the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim.

In the News:

“North Korea is casting doubt on next month’s summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump over joint Air Force drills taking place in South Korea, which it says are ruining the diplomatic mood. North Korea always reacts angrily to the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, considering them as a rehearsal for an invasion. But this year, with the sudden burst of diplomacy, had appeared to be different.”

“The Max Thunder exercise involves about 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and an unspecified number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets, according to the South’s main Yonhap News Agency. During last year’s Max Thunder exercises, U.S. and South Korean fighter jets flew an average 60 sorties a day to showcase their firepower. By mentioning the Panmunjom Declaration, North Korea was referring to the agreement signed last month by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in following their historic summit. North Korea suggested that the drills were putting the proposed summit between Trump and Kim, scheduled for June 12, in jeopardy”.

Insight from Peace Science:

The overwhelming military capabilities of the U.S. and the presence of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula are primary motivators for North Korea’s nuclear program. Not, as often assumed, threats, political isolation, or economic underdevelopment.

References:

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