Neocon Senator Lindsay Graham was stoking the flame of what is looking like increasingly probable war with North Korea today, when he warned on national TV that rising tensions between the the US and Pyongyang means preparations for war need to be taken, and that dependents of U.S. military personnel in South Korea should be relocated after the latest North Korean missile test.
Speaking on CBS News' "Face the Nation", Sen. Graham said that "we're getting close to a military conflict because North Korea's marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that cannot only get to America but deliver the weapon. We're running out of time."
Graham then urged American dependants should no longer be sent to South Korea, and added that it's time to start evacuating dependents out of North Korea's southern neighbor: "South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour. It's crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea. So I want them to stop sending dependents. And I think it's now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea."
On Saturday, North Korea said the U.S. is “begging” for a nuclear war by planning the “largest-ever” joint aerial drill with South Korea just weeks after concluding an exercise with three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. “Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U.S., the U.S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,” North Korea’s state-run KCNA said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As reported earlier on Sunday, Pyongyang's statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U.S. Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named "Vigilant Ace 18" scheduled for Dec. 4 to 8. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force. The stealth fighters, however, were just a small part of the upcoming show of force: according to local media, some 230 aircraft and up to 16,000 soldiers and airmen are taking part in the drill, which is one of the biggest ever of its kind. As part of "Vigilant Ace", US and South Korean forces will be rehearsing for a full-scale war with North Korea, with Yonhap noting that "allies plan to stage simulated attacks on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets."
The massive drill, and the latest verbal escalation, takes place after North Korea carried out its latest missile test last week, in which the reclusive country launched its third ICBM test, and the first of what North Korea is calling its Hwasong-15 missile. According to expets, the new missile may be able to travel a distance of more than 8,000 miles - enough to strike anywhere in United States.
Prior to Graham's warning, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday that the chances of war with North Korea are "increasing every day." Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, McMsater said: “I think it's increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem.”