For all of North Korea’s recent threatening statements over the past few weeks (or months, or years—depending on your timeline), one things is for certain, there is nothing like action to set the tone.
Case in point: An interesting statement was released from United States Forces Korea that should get Pyongyang’s attention, at least let us hope so:
“Demonstrating the commitment of the United States and its capability to defend the Republic of Korea and to provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region, U.S. Strategic Command sent two B-2 Spirit bombers for a long-duration, round-trip training mission from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to the Republic of Korea March 28 as part of the ongoing bilateral Foal Eagle training exercise.
This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, which demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will, involved flying more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range, and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission.
The United States is steadfast in its alliance commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region. The B-2 bomber is an important element of America's enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region.”
What was more interesting – at the bottom of the statement’s Korean language version was a factsheet detailing all the capabilities of the B-2. Maybe just some background information for us eager journalists? A signal to North Korea?
When one also takes into account recent drills involving the B-52 bomber, the United States is clearly trying to send a signal. Unlike like the weaker North Korea that is heavily reliant on bellicose rhetoric, the U.S. is capable of merely showing off its powerful military prowess to remind the North Koreans of America's powerful arsenal.
Note to Pyongyang, it might be time to cool the rhetoric just a wee bit.