No evidence of escalation on Korean Peninsula, analyst says
The situation on the Korean Peninsula should be observed “in the context,” an analyst say, asserting that the test flight of two US heavy bomber jets over South Korea does not necessarily refer to any particular escalation in the volatile region, where two world powers, the US and China, have military forces.
B-1 Lancer strategic bombers took off from an American base in Guam on Tuesday and performed a low-altitude flight over Osan Air Base near the South capital Seoul.
American and South Korean fighter jets escorted the B-1s during the low-speed flight, which took place 77 km (48 miles) from the Demilitarized Zone border with the North.
According to Keith Presto, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, the move is not ”particularly out of the ordinary. It’s quite frequent that American military forces that are stationed in that region and in other regions will do test flights of particular planes.”
The idea that such tests could serve as “provocative” towards the recluse state of North Korea is something that should be observed “within the context of the relationship between North and South Korea as well as larger powers that have influence in the region.”
The two Koreas are locked in a military stalemate since the end of their 1950-1953 war.
The peninsula has been locked in a cycle of military rhetoric since the Korean War and no peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that Pyongyang and Seoul remain technically at war.
According to Preston, the recent symbolic flight is “really nothing to be concerned about.”
“There is no evidence that that necessarily means there’s an escalation of hostilities.”
The fly-over came days after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and biggest “nuclear warhead explosion” test on Friday, which, according to South Korea’s meteorological agency, was almost identical to America’s nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.