​North Korea Verbal Nuclear Threats Bluff​​

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July 25, 2021

North Korea continues to make threats. Despite what North Korea says, the military exercises continue near South Korea with the United States. North Korea has made these threats before, but this time it promises “powerful nuclear deterrence.”

The rhetoric from North Korea, however, appears to most observers as just a verbal threat. “This is just a verbal threat,” says Choi Jin-wook, senior fellow on North Korean issues at the Korea Institute of National Unification, a Seoul-based think tank. “It’s just a bluff.” The military exercises, led by the 98,000-ton Nimitz class aircraft carrier, come in the aftermath of the sinking of the South Korean Navy vessel.

The carrier has 80 war planes taking off from its decks while more than 100 other planes are flying from the major United States air base at Osan. The exercises, called “Invincible Spirit,” also include destroyers with Aegis-class counter-missile systems. This is the latest technology for fending off missiles of the sort that North Korea has tested over the years.

It’s hard to determine what North Korea wants. After the war games are done on Wednesday, all sides are expected to turn their focus on North Korea’s nuclear program. However, the North Koreans have made clear that they are not going to go along with demands to get rid of their program if they return to the table. North Korea has called for “denuclearization” of the entire Korean peninsula. This is likely to include banning all nuclear arms from US ships in the Pacific.