by John Galt
August 13, 2017 10:25 ET
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has just issued a statement within the last thirty minutes that appears to indicate war is coming to the Korean Peninsula. From ITAR-TASS News Agency:
The risk of a force solution to the crisis around North Korea is very high, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.
“How far the situation has gone… Well, it has come very close to a potential possibility of a force conflict,” she said in an interview with the evening news roundup on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
These week, Washington and Pyongyang have been exchanging sharp statements. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korea should stop threatening the United States, otherwise Washington will answer with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.” North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) later reported that Pyongyang was “carefully examining” plans for a missile strike on the Andersen Air Force Base located on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
With this statement, it would appear that the movement of Russian forces in the region back in April to prevent a spillover of the conflict from North Korea into their territory was quite prudent.
The most puzzling aspect of the current situation however is the lack of a major movement of U.S. forces. I have friends who are specialists within the U.S. military and only a few of them have been called up from reserve status. In fact according to the website The Warzone, U.S. military activity is quite normal:
There are no tankers dragging American aerial combat aircraft across the Pacific—especially ones like the F-22 that would be key to any fight. Extra missile defense capabilities aren’t being sent into the region and US Marines and US Army ground combat units are not being called up for a deployment to the Korean Peninsula to augment US forces already garrisoned there. No ships have been ordered to leave their births to begin their voyage toward Korean shores. Even the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group remains in port in nearby Yokosuka, Japan.
The forces already deployed to the region are sizable for long-term strategic and defensive purposes, totaling roughly 28,000, but for a war on our own timeline they are nowhere near what would be considered adequate. If the US was planning on the possibility of even executing a limited strike on North Korea in a preemptive manner, or if it seemed North Korea could be about to strike the US or its allies’ interests nearby or abroad, massive amounts of hardware and personnel would begin pouring into the region.
Keep the lack of movement of U.S. forces and call ups of reserves in mind as this crisis progresses forward. It tends to indicate that the Trump Administration is bluffing in an attempt to force North Korea to back down and lose face, creating an embarrassing situation for the Chinese regime also. Although, the Russian Foreign Ministry might be using this strong rhetoric to promote a move to multi-lateral peace talks or in fact they might have intelligence indicating that the North Korean regime is engaging in more unstable behavior than usual. Either way, this story will require constant monitoring in case a mistake is made by either side resulting in a resumption of the Korean conflict with little warning.