2018: "Max Thunder" und die Folgen

TIM SHORROCK writes on  MAY 16, 2018:

"Five days ago, after reading stories in the Korean press about the latest US-South Korean military exercises called “Max Thunder,” I tweeted out a warning that the strategic weapons being deployed might set off red flags in Pyongyang.
I'm a little surprised about the scale of these exercises, which include F-22s and B-52s from Guam. And I've even more surprised by North Korea's silence about them. ... Why was I surprised? Because Kim Jong Un, in his preliminary meetings leading up to his April 27 summit with Moon Jae-in, had said that North Korea would not object to “normal” US-South Korean military exercises. That was widely understood in South Korea to mean that he would accept the drills as long as they didn’t include “strategic” weapons such as B-1B and B-52 bombers, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, all of which had taken part in earlier exercises and were viewed by the Kim government as both provocative and threatening.
So when I saw reports in the Korean media that the “Max Thunder” air exercises were to include both B-52s from Guam and advanced F-22s stationed in Japan, I wondered why we hadn’t heard anything critical from Pyongyang about them.
Well, yesterday we did. Late Tuesday afternoon (15.Mai) in Washington, South Korea’s Yonhap News Service issued a bulletin: North Korea “said Wednesday it is canceling high-level talks with South Korea and threatened to pull out of a summit with the United States over the allies’ ongoing military exercises. ...   By Wednesday morning, after intense discussions between South Korean and US officials, it looked like a compromise had been reached on the exercises: the B-52s simply won’t take part. Yonhap again: Contrary to the original plan, nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bombers will not participate in the ongoing combined air drills between South Korea and the United States, a military source said Wednesday. “In the Max Thunder exercise that began on Friday, the U.S. F-22 stealth fighters have already participated, while the B-52 has yet to join,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “B-52 will not take part in the exercise, which runs through May 25.” ...."    (Please cont. pdf)


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