US Pacific Air Forces ‘Ready to Fight Tonight’ as North Korean Crisis Looms
US Pacific Air Forces ‘Ready to Fight Tonight’ as North Korean Crisis Looms from Sputnik News
As US President Donald Trump enters one of the biggest crises of his first year as commander-in-chief, the US Pacific Air Force reminded Trump and the world of their mantra over Twitter: “Ready to fight tonight.”
US Pacific Air Forces, headquartered in Hawaii, tweeted photos of a B-1B nuclear bomber being refueled mid-air, taxiing on the runway at the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and flying with Japanese Self-Defense Force F-15s and South Korean KF-16 aircraft.
— PACAF (@PACAF) August 8, 2017
“This serves as the first mission for the crews and aircraft recently deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in support of US Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence missions,” the PACAF said in an August 8 statement.
Some view US military actions near the Korean Peninsula as belonging to the same class of threats Trump warned against on Tuesday when he said that North Korean threats would be met with “fire and fury and power.”
“Unfortunately the Trump administration has shown no inclination to engage in diplomacy. And I don’t think they’re going to accept the status quo,” Gregory Elich of the US-based Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Tuesday.
“So it seems there’s a strong worry they are going down this road of military adventurism that could result in hundreds of thousands of deaths. It is indeed deeply disturbing. But it’s kind of ironic that Trump would talk about ‘threats,’ because all they’ve done is test weapons systems — the same as any other country has done. So, for instance, on the [intercontinental ballistic missiles] ICBMs,” North Korea “has fired two, the US has fired three.”
Though US, Japanese and South Korean analysts said the July 28 ballistic missile launch was an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Russian Ministry of Defense, among others, said the projectile appeared to be “a medium-range ballistic missile based on its technical characteristics.”
“Why is it a threat when North Korea does it, but not when the US does it?” Elich wondered. On August 2 the US Air Force announced that it had successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman III ICBMfrom Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
“Then there’s also the factor of the US flying B-1 bombers near North Korea’s border,” the activist continued, “so actually North Korea has done nothing to threaten the US; it’s the other way around.”
A Korean People’s Army Strategic Force spokesman said on Tuesday that strategic bombers soaring through South Korean airspace “get on the nerves of the DPRK and threaten and blackmail it through their frequent visits.” Two of the nuclear-armed supersonic jets buzzed near the Korean Peninsula on August 8 escorted by South Korean and Japanese aircraft.
Following the July 28 ballistic missile launch, Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Cmdr. of Pacific Air Forces, said, “Diplomacy remains the lead; however, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario. If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”