With the U.S. Air Force suspending its strategic bomber flight on the Korean Peninsula, the government seems to be trying to avoid making any related comments.
U.S. Air Force Commander Charles Brown met reporters at the Pentagon's building on Thursday (local time) and said, "The South Korean government has requested that we suspend U.S. strategic bomber flights over the Korean Peninsula."
But the South Korean government remained cautious, avoiding giving a definite answer to reporters' question, 'Is it right that the South Korean government first requested a halt?'
Defense Ministry spokesman Choi Hyun-soo said in a regular briefing on Monday, "Although we are limited to talking about the subject, we are working on the important matter through sufficient consultations between Seoul and Washington.
The government's cautious attitude toward the issue is interpreted as trying to avoid criticism that the South Korean government once again spoke out for North Korea's position due to the inter-Korean rapprochement.
U.S. strategic bombers such as B-2 are considered the most feared weapons by North Korea. With the North's outdated radar system, it is impossible to detect the approach of these bombers in advance and there is no proper means of intercepting them.
This could raise fear not only for the North Korean military but also for the people, and shake the Kim Jong Un regime. In response, North Korean authorities have been reacting extremely sensitively by staging armed demonstrations and openly condemning the 사설토토 bombers whenever they were deployed on the Korean Peninsula.
The government is also under criticism for having signed an unfair military agreement between the two Koreas, causing the military to disarm. The request to stop flying a strategic bomber under such circumstances could undermine the combined defense posture and fuel the controversy that it caused a rift between South Korea and the U.S.
On the other hand, however, experts say that the government's request is unlikely to directly affect the Korea-U.S. relationship as the U.S. is trying to advance the denuclearization talks by showing sincerity to North Korea.
"We don't want to do anything to derail (North Korea nuclear) diplomatic negotiations in orbit," Brown said on the reason why he stopped flying the strategic bomber.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said on Monday that he would scale down to a level that does not hinder foreign relations.