As Tensions Rise, U.S. and S. Korea Begin Drills

By: Billy Dean Valentine

Pace International Law Review, Editor in Chief

The United States and South Korea began their largest joint war games in years in July, with a nuclear powered American aircraft carrier prowling off the east coast of South Korea while North Korea threatened to retaliate and reportedly put its military on alert for war. The rising tensions demonstrated just how tenuous peace has been on the divided peninsula since the Korean War was halted, 57 years ago, by a cease-fire between the United States-led forces of the United Nations and the Communist troops of North Korea and China.

In a show of the allies’ military power, a fleet of American and South Korean ships and submarines sailed into waters off the east coast of South Korea, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington, one of the biggest ships in the United States Navy. Japan, a historical rival of Korea but an ally of South Korea and the United States in their confrontation with the North, sent observers to the four-day exercise.

North Korea vowed to start a “sacred war” against the United States and South Korea at “any time necessary” to counter their “largest-ever nuclear war exercises” with its own “powerful nuclear deterrence.”

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