By Debbie Gregory.
The welcome news that North Korea and South Korea will participate in the upcoming Olympics under a unified flag has not alleviated the threat of war for the U.S. military.
Two military drills last month and one in February are designed to ready troops for the possibility of war with North Korea, which has made repeated threats to attack the U.S. with its nuclear-capable ballistic missiles
Contingency planning is part of standard Defense Department training and troop rotations. But the timing of the exercises suggests a focus for what could be on the horizon with North Korea.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both hope that diplomacy will be the avenue pursued to address Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
Following Hawaii’s false alarm of a text alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack, panic underscored the anxiety and uneasiness that most Americans have regarding North Korea.
This is especially true given the rhetoric, name-calling and threats that have been exchanged between the leaders of the two countries.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley called Pyongyang the biggest threat to American national security, and said that Army officers who lead operational units must prepare to meet that threat.
Countries have contingency plans for all kinds of emergencies, so it’s no surprise that Japan and the US drew up a scheme to remove their citizens from harm’s way.
It is unlikely that the Pentagon would launch military action on the Korean Peninsula without first warning Americans and others in the area.
There are 60,000 Japanese citizens living in South Korea, and the Japanese government has started looking into ways to get them out should a crisis with North Korea break out.