North Korea was recently in the news over their claim of readiness to attack its enemies with nuclear weapons. Whether or not they have this capability is up for debate, but it is certain that tensions between the nation and most of the world outside its borders are scaling up. A few weeks after the nuclear threats were in the spotlight, we now have news of a counter activity being performed by the United States in combination with South Korea in the form of war games.
These operations actually take place every year in the spring, and serve to prepare the militaries of the allied countries in case a war breaks out with North Korea. With the recent nuclear saber-rattling being a factor, the tensions are even higher than usual this time of year. Kim Il Sung, a teacher in North Korea’s Pyongyang said, “This isn’t just military training. These are war exercises aimed at a nuclear war against our country. They are preparing to attack us.” The vast majority of citizens outside North Korean borders feels differently, and takes these threats and the defense they requite seriously.
There have been decades of tension at this level, so the military operations are likely exactly what they seem to be at face value: preparations for a worst case scenario, and nothing more. A single nuclear attack by North Korea would set of a chain of events that the nation would likely not recover from, so much of the dialogue is posturing to maintain status (particularly within the enclosed nation among its own citizens).