The deployment of additional nuclear-capable bombers to American positions in Guam means US bases in the region will suffer in the event of a military conflict, according to a Wednesday statement from North Korea.
“If the US goes reckless, misjudging the trend of the times and the strategic position of the DPRK, all the US military bases in the operational theatre in the Pacific, including Guam, will face ruin in the face of an all-out and substantial attack mounted by the army of the DPRK,” a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in a statement Wednesday.
In early August, the US sent B-1B and B-2A bombers to Guam to support the B-52s already stationed at Anderson Air Force Base. For the first time, three types of nuclear-capable aircraft were deployed to a single position. These planes will be used to enhance the Pentagon’s Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) mission and Bomber Assurance and Deterrence Deployment (BADD) efforts.
One month before the recent bomber deployments, the US and South Korea announced that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system would be installed in Seongju in 2017.
These strategic maneuvers, all of which are said to serve the US aim to protect itself and its allies from a growing North Korean nuclear threat, have caused North Korea, China, and Russia to express concerns and strong criticisms over US actions, claiming that the US is destabilizing the region.
“The introduction of the nuclear strategic bombers to Guam by the US…proves that the US plan for a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK has entered a reckless phase of implementation,” KCNA reported.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, KCNA also said that the US’ deployment of bombers and the planned THAAD installation “are part of its sinister strategy to contain Russia and China in the Asia Pacific and maintain its military hegemony in the region, not just aiming at a surprise preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK.”
In the statement released to KCNA, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson proudly vowed, “The army and the people of the DPRK will never remain an on-looker to the U.S. nuclear threat and blackmail getting ever-more pronounced with each passing day, but will whet more sharply the treasured sword of nuclear weapons of justice for defending the sovereignty and security of the country.”
Japan’s Kyodo News reported Wednesday that North Korea has restarted its nuclear program at the Yongbyon nuclear complex and is processing weapons-grade plutonium for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. This indicates that another nuclear test could be on its way.
The next day, Radio Free Asia revealed that satellite imagery shows that North Korea has established three new anti-aircraft artillery bases to defend Pyongyang.
These developments suggest that North Korea intends to utilize nuclear and conventional weapons to counter what it sees as a growing threat to its national security from regional US military operations.
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