For all his endless posturing, North Korea's Un has done absolutely nothing. And if his inability and unwillingness to translate threats into actions continue, that will pretty much be it for North Korea's hope to even get a few loose pennies as a nuisance factor. This may be tested in the next 48 hours as South Korea and the US begin two days of joint naval exercises off the country's east coast, involving the nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier CVN 68 Nimitz. Perhaps more informative than North Korea's bluster will be to see what if any reaction China has to a US presence in a hotly contested (with Japan) naval territory.
The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is anchored at the port of Busan.
South Korea and the United States on Monday began two days of joint naval exercises off the east coast involving the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier.
The 97,000-ton USS Nimitz (CVN 68) left the southeastern port of Busan earlier in the day for the exercises with South Korea's Navy in the East Sea near Pohang, a senior military official said.
The Nimitz Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and guided-missile destroyers and cruisers.
South Korea mobilized the Aegis-equipped destroyer King Sejong and the DDH-II class destroyer Chungmugong Yi Sunshin for the exercises. Aegis destroyers of the two countries will carry out missile detection, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft maneuvers, military officials said.
Although Seoul and Washington have said the maneuvers are part of annual training and defensive in nature, North Korea on Saturday denounced the arrival of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Pyongyang's Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea described the arrival as "an open threat and blackmail against the DPRK (North Korea), and a grave military provocation to unleash a nuclear war against it at any cost on the Korean Peninsula."
North Korea has long bristled at military exercises between the U.S. and the South, denouncing them as a rehearsal for an invasion of the communist nation.