In the face of rising tensions with nuclear North Korea, the United States and South Korea began preparative defense drills on Monday. These drills are said to involve naval maneuvers, submarine detection drills, and exercises in live fire.
The U.S. currently has some 28,500 troops in South Korea, a remnant of the Korean War that technically ended in an armistice.
North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests quickly brought sanctions against the leadership of the late Kim Jong-il. In 2011, his youngest son, Kim Jong-un came into power as the totalitarian country’s supreme leader. Amidst nuclear provocations, he disappointed U.S. hopes in seeing a change in policy.
In December, North Korea launched a rocket that it claimed was for non-military reasons. Other nations surrounding the country, including the U.S., claim that the rocket was, in fact, a test in long-range missiles, distinctly banned by the U.N.
In a vague announcement on Sunday, Kim Jong-un was said to have made an important conclusion that would strengthen the country, as reported by North Korea's Central News Agency.
Newly appointed Secretary of Senate John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, have been joining forces through phone calls.
They've determined that North Korea “will face significant consequences from the international community if it continues its provocative behavior.”
This past January, North Korea’s National Defense Commission gave a speech in which the United States was identified as the “archenemy of the Korean people.”
In the very same speech, there was a declaration of a “high level nuclear test” meant to target the U.S.
“The dark cloud of war is approaching to the Korean peninsula,” North Korea’s official website has stated. “Our patience has the limit.”
So does the rest of the world. North Korea has always been a particularly delicate political situation. Attempts to keep both control and peace over such instability seems to have failed in terms of dissuading the North Korean government from their warnings and denuclearizing.
This incident is only the latest in a series where we get collectively closer to an edge that one day may be crossed, and the consequences — dire.