Threats to S.Korea Mount from All Sides

      May 26, 2022 13:12

      North Korea fired three more ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Wednesday. Just a day earlier, six Chinese and Russian bombers and fighter planes buzzed South Korea's air defense identification zone without identifying themselves and had to be chased by the Air Force. North Korea, China and Russia simultaneously threatened security in the region as if they had coordinated the move. The North fired the missiles as U.S. President Joe Biden was heading back home after visits to South Korea and Japan. They are squarely aimed at South Korea and the U.S. and can be mounted with nuclear warheads. In other words, this was a deliberate provocation.

      When the Chinese and Russian warplanes came too close for comfort, the Air Force scrambled F-16K fighter jets to warn them off, while Japan also deployed F-16J fighter planes, which then gave rise to something like a dogfight over Dokdo islets, which the Japanese covet. During his Asia trip, Biden promised that the U.S. will intervene militarily should China invade Taiwan, which is the issue that caused Beijing to bristle, and condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He is also trying to corner China and Russia by launching the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which aims to create a stable supply chain of American allies. It is only to be expected that China and Russia will try to fight back.

      In short, the situation is tense on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has threatened preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korea and is highly likely to conduct a seventh nuclear test soon. China sides with Russia even though Moscow is being accused of war crimes in Ukraine, and China, Russia and North Korea have no qualms about threatening other countries.

      As the world spirals into another Cold War, China, Russia and North Korea will grow closer, and that will pose an even bigger security burden for South Korea. North Korea will threaten the South with nuclear missiles, while China will resort to trade retaliation. Seoul needs to stick to its allies and make careful plans for the future.

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