North Korea is freaking out about the reported deployment of nuclear bombers to the Korean Peninsula for drills, but the planes are not and will not be there.
Unnerved by the latest iteration of the Max Thunder exercises, two-week joint drills involving numerous American and South Korean air assets, North Korea hurled criticisms at the U.S. and South Korea, accusing the allies of deploying strategic nuclear assets. “At a time when the DPRK-U.S. summit is approaching, the U.S. has launched the largest-ever drill involving B-52 strategic nuclear bomber, F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and other nuclear strategic assets,” North Korean state media reported Wednesday.
Not only did the Pentagon confirm to The Daily Caller News Foundation that nuclear-capable Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses were never expected to participate in the Max Thunder drills, but a defense official revealed that no strategic nuclear assets are involved in the ongoing exercises.
North Korea, perhaps swayed by South Korean media reports claiming otherwise, is convinced they are there, and they are not happy.
“This is an extremely provocative and ill-boding act of going against the trend for peace and security in the Korean peninsula and dialogue atmosphere,” the Korean Central News Agency wrote. “The U.S. continued introduction of nuclear strategic assets has exposed the process for détente on the peninsula to vulnerability and clouded the prospect of the upcoming DPRK-U.S. summit, to say nothing of suspending the north-south high-level talks that was just around the corner.” (RELATED: North Korea Calls Trump-Kim Summit Into Question Over US Military Drills With South Korea)
North Korean media outlets have actually written several articles criticizing the war games and highlighting the threat to peace posed by America’s deployment of strategic nuclear assets. “Indiscriminate drills for invasion of the North will never be tolerated,” the North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri wrote Thursday. The drills involve attack aircraft, but they are defensive in nature, a Pentagon spokesman told TheDCNF.
This is not the first time the North has pitched a fit over nonexistent threats.
Last year, when miscommunication led numerous domestic and foreign media outlets to inaccurately report that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was moving into position off of the Korean Peninsula, the North warned that its “revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike.” Later, it was revealed that the Carl Vinson was nowhere near the Korean Peninsula at that time.
North Korea also had a tendency to panic every time the B-1B Lancers flew past the peninsula, with state media criticizing the deployment of nuclear weapons to the peninsula and “nuclear bomb dropping drills.” This particular bomber has not been nuclear-capable since the 1990s.
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