‘N. Korea now has capacity to target heart of US Pacific Command’

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
By Paul Martin

RT.com
5 Jul, 2017

The most sensible path, at this point, is for the US to end the Korean War, sign a peace treaty with North Korea, and withdraw its troops from the Korean peninsula, Hyun Lee, a member of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, told RT.
South Korean and US forces fired missiles into the Sea of Japan in a display of resolve toward North Korea as a part of a joint ballistic missile exercise between Washington and Seoul.

According to officials, the exercise used missiles that can be “easily deployed”.

It all came in response to North Korea’s latest missile test on Tuesday, which the Pentagon said was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

RT: North Korea is clearly aware the US and South Korea possess a wide range of missiles. Was this show of force really necessary?

Hyun Lee: North Korea has been saying from the beginning of this year, from the beginning of the Trump administration, that it will test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile and it has always said it is a form of deterrence against US threats against North Korea. The US and South Korea conduct annual military exercises, including the collapse of the North Korean regime and the simulation of the decapitation of the North Korean leadership. North Korea has always said these are threats to its sovereignty and that is why it is developing an ICBM as a form of deterrence.

RT: China and Russia have been calling on the international community to try and talk to North Korea to avoid provocation. Why did the US and South Korea decide to stage these exercises anyway?

HL: I think what the US and South Korea are doing is basically flexing their muscles to show ‘We are not afraid of North Korea. We also have big bad weapons.’ But what they are doing is answering fire with fire in a region that is a powder keg. We know that the world’s greatest military powers face off in this region: that is the US, China, Japan, South Korea. Former US army generals have warned that even the slightest miscalculation on the Korean peninsula can trigger a conflict that basically mires the entire region in a protracted war that could have catastrophic consequences not only for the region but also for the global economy. And that is not in anyone’s interest.

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