Sunday’s parade in Yokosuka, Japan, with a total of 38 military ships from 19 countries, was a good opportunity to demonstrate military might.
The timing was no accident.
It’s only been three days since residents of several provinces were asked to take shelter in their homes after North Korea launched one long-range ballistic missile and two short-range missiles.
Since October, the United Nations has accused the country of escalating weapons tests.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s speech during the demonstration was clear: Japan should be better prepared.
– He said we must prepare to stand up to those who break the rules and want to destroy the peace and security of other countries by force, according to the Reuters news agency.
Kishida also followed through with concrete plans:
– We will draw up a new national security strategy by the new year, and we will radically develop our defense capabilities.
Kishida’s party, the Liberal Democratic Party, plans to increase the defense budget to 2% of GDP within five years.
It was also no coincidence that South Korea was among the 18 allied countries that participated in the show.
In cooperation with the United States, they this week conducted the Vigilant Storm air defense exercise – the largest that brought them together – as a response to North Korea’s increasingly frequent weapons tests. Several hundred South Korean and American aircraft are involved.
The two countries warned that many of North Korea’s recent missile tests could end up causing the country to also conduct a nuclear test.
On Friday, South Korea sent more combat aircraft in response to what it described as the mobilization of 180 North Korean warplanes.
North Korea: – aggressive and provocative
Exercises such as Storm Vigilance have long infuriated Pyongyang, which regards them as rehearsals for conquest.
Vigil Storm is an aggressive and provocative military maneuver targeting North Korea, and the United States and South Korea may risk paying the heaviest cost in history if it continues, Pyongyang said.
Tension on the Korean peninsula was on the agenda of the UN Security Council again on Friday, but the 15 members failed to agree on a response. China in particular is siding with North Korea.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield dismissed North Korea’s criticism of the exercises, saying they did not pose a threat to any other country.
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