North Korea has been able to get away with rogue behavior and endless threats because of one reason: The possibility of nuclear weapons.
Nations such as the United States and Japan have often been hesitant to provoke the communist dictatorship due to the regime’s secretive and relentless pursuit of nukes.
However, a new armament being loaded onto American and Japanese strike fighters may soon eliminate that nuclear advantage, and send shivers down the spines of North Korean leaders.
The Yonhap News Agency in South Korea has reported that allied aircraft have been equipped with at least 10 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, known as “JASSMs.”
Those powerful munitions are able to hit potential nuclear weapons sites in North Korea, even when they are fired from safely south of the North-South Korea border.
The long-range missiles contain a conventional warhead ideal for eliminating nuclear testing and launch sites within the communist country. That capability is intended to be a deterrent against continued rogue behavior by North Korea.
“To my knowledge, the USFK [U.S. Forces Korea] considers making public a live-fire drill involving the JASSM in case North Korea carries out another strategic provocation, such as a sixth nuclear test,” a source reportedly told Yonhap News.
However, the United States military in South Korea isn’t the only force that is upgrading its arsenal. The South China Morning Post recently reported that Japan is outfitting its newly built F-35 fighters to strike into North Korea if needed.
“The Japanese government is planning to fit its next-generation F-35 fighters with advanced air-to-surface missiles, a development one analyst says would provide the Air Self-Defence Force with ‘a big step forward in stand-off capability’,” stated the Morning Post.
Those weapons, known as Joint Strike Missiles, are similar in capability to the American JASSMs.
“This [JSM] weapon, combined with the F-35, will permit Japan to get much closer to targets with a high degree of stealth,” defense analyst Lance Gatling told the Morning Post.
All indications are that the patience of the United States and its Asian allies may be running out.
As North Korea continues to defy the international community and increases its nuclear weapons testing, the secretive country may soon be getting a visit from American and Japanese aircraft… or one of the advanced missiles that both nations now posses.
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