Two big things happen on Monday, August 21st, 2018. The first big thing is the total solar eclipse. There won’t be another eclipse like this for about seven years, so be sure to view it. The second big thing is the return of USA vs North Korea and our impending nuclear war risk. If the sun doesn’t block us out for good, then our nuclear war surely will. WWIII probably won’t ever happen, but the way USA and North Korea are exchanging bluffs sure makes it seem like we’re set for doom on Monday. Perhaps the Armageddon predictors should’ve brought this up. Maybe it’s in the tabloids in your local supermarket.
The United States and South Korea will begin joint military exercises on Monday. This is likely to anger North Korea who might see the exercise as a show of force. To North Korea, it could be perceived as “here’s what we have and we’re ready when you are” and it could provoke North Korea to respond with aggression of their own. America and South Korea have had this exercise before, so it’s nothing new. However, every time they do it, it seemed to cause a bitter lemon face in the northern neighbors and sometimes sparked a reaction from the North Koreans who would display their own show of force. Can we talk about being triggered? Well, triggering is what Armageddon worriers think will happen. Although, North Korea should know by now that it’s all a dual team exercise and not an actual threat.
Held every fall in South Korea, the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian war games are the world’s largest computerized command and control exercise. Some 30,000 U.S. soldiers and more than 50,000 South Korean troops usually take part, along with hundreds of thousands of first responders and civilians, some practicing for a potential chemical weapons attack.
Scheduled long before the recent diplomatic fallout between Washington and Pyongyang, the U.S. and South Korean militaries will simulate warfare with North Korea from Aug. 21 to 31, well aware that North Korea could respond with another missile test, according to McClatchy.
It’s rather strange how an annual exercises irritates people. If the USA and South Korea have done this for years, but there’s not actual military strikes, then what does North Korea have to worry about? If North Korea sees two other locations practicing fake war against them, then wouldn’t it be wise for North Korea to ask why? Why are other people preparing themselves for a North Korean strike? Perhaps that’s because they don’t trust North Korea not to strike. If that’s the case, then North Korea should do something to set people at ease, but it doesn’t seem like that would ever happen under their current leadership.
In light of this perceived provocation by North Korea, which will almost certainly prompt some reaction, Scott A. Snyder, a Korea specialist with the Council on Foreign Relations said “Over the course of the next two weeks I expect tensions to escalate. This is always a sensitive issue, but it is more hair-trigger as the North Koreans are very sensitive to the likely additional nuclear-capable aircraft flyovers.”
A reaction to show their own strength is expected and acceptable. An actual attack would be the worst mistake they could make, which could result in retaliatory strikes from USA and South Korea. Showing off one’s latest shiny toys is great, but using them without proper provocation is not.
While the Pentagon has repeatedly stated that the biannual exercises are “defensive” in nature, both North Korea and China have long criticized them as a provocation and an affront to regional security. “There certainly will be some reaction,” said J.D. Williams, a retired Marine colonel and defense policy researcher at the RAND Corporation in California. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if North Korea conducted some kind of missile launch — not a test but a defiant demonstration of might.
If North Korea launches a missile on Monday, then it’s simply to show off their weaponry. The only thing North Korea needs to worry about, in that case, is if their missiles can actually get off the ground and go somewhere. Monday is just around the corner so all eyes and ears should be on alert for the solar eclipse and the impending showdown between USA, North Korea, and South Korea.
Be ready to face the darkness on Monday. If we’re all still here on Tuesday, then perhaps we’ll share a laugh. With Steven Bannon out of the White House, there’s going to be plenty of interesting news in the next few weeks. Be sure to dial in for every update.