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15 August 2017

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b

More evidence that "The fat kid blinked" (NOT!)

UPI "Report: U.S. scales back deployment to Korea for drills"
https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/08/18/Report-US-scales-back-deployment-to-Korea-for-drills/8051503064343/

/quote/
Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Strategic assets of the U.S. military, including an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, may not be deployed during the upcoming joint exercises on the Korean peninsula.

South Korean television network SBS reported Friday the United States canceled plans to deploy the strategic assets during the drill set to begin next week, and the move is taking place a week after tensions spiked between Washington and Pyongyang.

The United States and South Korea originally planned to deploy two U.S. aircraft carriers, a nuclear-powered submarine and a strategic bomber to the peninsula.

A South Korean government source who spoke to SBS anonymously said Seoul agreed with the proposal to scale back.
...
The exercises known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian came under verbal attack from North Korea this week, when Pyongyang warned of a "second Korean War" should Seoul and Washington go ahead with the drills.

After a week of high tensions, Pyongyang also stated leader Kim Jong Un would "monitor" the United States before taking unprecedented measures against Guam, the location of a key U.S. air force base.
/endquote/

Not only where the B-1Bs held back but the U.S. stopped the participation of other "strategic assets" in the upcoming maneuvers. (NoKo had referred to these "strategic forces" in some of its statements)

Someone thought through what a salvo test of NoKo missiles near Guam would actually demonstrate and mean for the U.S.:
- multiple overflight of the "ally" Japan which the U.S. could not prevent;
- proof of the (likely) incapability of missile defense against multiple targets;
- proof of inherent vulnerability of Guam - otherwise an anchor of the U.S. security system in the area.

The price to pay and the risk was too high to justify a continuation if the maneuver plans.

The "fat kid" won this round.

turcopolier

b

"The "fat kid" won this round." I will believe that when the big Kahuna exercize is cancelled or delayed. BTW you are exaggerating the criticallity of Andersen AFB and the Guam naval station. You know that US capabilities are much greater than that. pl

b

@Pat - cancelling the big exercise was not demanded in the NoKo statements. The B-1B and the "strategic assets" were specifically mentioned. Details will have been discussed in the unofficial-official meetings in New York.
The sole point is that certain (not all) announced military movements by the U.S. were stopped in exchange for a halt of the announced salvo test.

I am well aware what assets the U.S. has. Still, Guam is important for its position in the wider area. Significant damage to the airbase or the harbor would make any operation against North Korea, China or various fremenies in the area more complicate.

It is also difficult to assert "we will take care of you" to various partners if the base where "taking care" depends on is suddenly proven to be endangered.

North Korea chose an excellent target area for its test. Even a somewhat failed test with dummy load missiles landing 50 miles from Guam would have embarrassed the U.S.. The circumstances gave it maximum leverage for negotiations.

What color will the next rabbit have that the fat kid will soon pull out of his hat. Blue for the submarine launched missiles North Korea is working on?

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