I heard the bells on Christmas DayDuring the winter season when Christians worldwide traditionally express wishes of peace and goodwill towards all people, the U.S. and Japan have embarked on their biggest war games ever following a year of joint war games held by the U.S. and South Korea. During a war game in the spring, a South Korean ship, the Cheonan, mysteriously sank:
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men...
And in despair I bow'd my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men...
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," American Civil War era poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1864
South Korean government allegations that a North Korean torpedo attacked the warship provoked tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, providing an excuse to convince Japan to keep the US military presence in Okinawa. However, two scholars have disputed the evidence that the ROK government has used for the allegation and the recent poll showed that 63% of S.Koreans do not trust the government's report.And in a recent US-S. Korean war game bombardment of its border, North Korea retaliated, with fatal consequences.
PressTV reports, "Japan and the United States have launched their biggest-ever joint military exercises off Japan's southern islands near South Korea amid growing tensions in the Korean Peninsula,"
The drills---dubbed Keen Sword---will continue until December 10.Read the rest here.
Washington has deployed more than 10,000 troops, 20 warships and 150 aircraft to take part in the maneuvers.
Tokyo recently invited South Korean military officials to observe the exercises.
The exercises come several days after an exchange of artillery fire between the two Koreas.
However, US and Japanese officials claim the drills were planned before the Korean clashes.
The developments come days after Japanese on the southern Island of Okinawa re-elected incumbent governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who wants an end to the American military presence in the island.