"But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats and today's announcement follows that familiar pattern."
No signs of military activity exist. Kaesong's industrial zone remains open. It's operating normally. South Korean companies run it.
A war of words continue. It's familiar. We've seen it all before. Washington bears full responsibility. Obama's Asia pivot involves advancing America's military footprint.
Doing so aggressively is planned. China's growing economic might and military strength are targeted. So is checking Russia at the same time. North Korea's a convenient punching bag. They don't come any better.
Beating up on Pyongyang is policy. It's longstanding. It shows no signs of ending. It continues ad nauseam.
America's so-called missile defense is for offense. In mid-March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said additional numbers would be added in Alaska. Others are planned for Asia. In Japan, tracking radar systems were added.
China and Russia oppose them. They do so for good reason. They're prime targets. Undermining their influence is policy. So is isolating them from neighbors and asserting Washington's dominance over territories and waters not its own.
Washington deployed B-2 stealth bombers to South Korea. They dropped dummy bombs on Jik Do island.
US Forces Korea (USFK) said America's ability to "conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will (shall) provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region."
B-2s are equipped for nuclear bombs and missiles. Capability doesn't reflect policy. North Korea poses Washington and Seoul no threat.
On the one hand, US officials suggest it. On the other, saber rattling implies otherwise. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says Pyongyang will amass a nuclear arsenal. It's needed to deter aggression.
After B-2s overflew South Korea, Rodong Sinmun said US provocations make American Pacific Rim bases prime targets. Russian analyst Evgeny Kim said introducing B2s "openly provok(es) North Korea."
Seoul remains calms. Pyongyang takes US threats seriously. At the same time, initiating war's unlikely. Doing so would be suicidal.
Washington's defense treaty with South Korea obligates intervention if North/South conflict erupts.
Potentially, a spark could ignite it. Small incidents at times cause big ones.