WW4 File: Tokyo accuses Moscow of “provocative military action,” Russian strategic bombers encircle Japan; tiff over S. Kurils unresolved since 1945; US DoD denies North Korea forced down spy plane in March

On Friday, Tokyo protested to Moscow, via diplomatic channels, against the flights of two strategic bombers that encircled the entire archipelago the previous day. “We will deal with the matter appropriately based on Russia’s response,” announced Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura.

According to Fujimura, this is not the first time Russian military aircraft have flown around Japan, but noted that the incident was unusual because the bombers flew over an especially long distance and refueled in midair over the Sea of Okhotsk.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said the two Russian planes flew from the east of the Korean Peninsula, approached Japan south of Okinawa Island, then flew north over the Pacific Ocean to an area near the disputed Kuril Islands off Hokkaido. The planes came near Sakhalin Island before going south again, through the airspace between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Finally, they headed north over the Sea of Japan, returning to Russia.

Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force scrambled its fighters, worried that the bombers might violate Japanese airspace. At one point, 10 Japanese and South Korean interceptors escorted the lumbering Tu-95 Bears.

Russia’s Defense Ministry acknowledged that two of its nuclear bombers flew over the Pacific Ocean and other areas for about 19 hours but stressed they did not violate the airspace of Japan or any other country.

In a telephone conversation with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Japan’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba referred to the bomber flights as a “provocative military action.”

Japan and Russia are technically in a state of war, having never signed a peace treaty in 1945, when Soviet troops occupied the Japanese-inhabited southern Kuril Islands. During the Second World War, the Soviet Union fought against the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis on the side of the Allied Powers. The territorial dispute festers to this day. Not so coincidentally, last Thursday’s bomber flights took place ahead of planned bilateral talks to finally formulate a treaty.

In another story from East Asia, the South Korean media reports that last March, when Seoul and Washington were holding their annual joint military exercise in the region, Communist North Korea used an electronic warfare device to force a US spy plane to land shortly after take off. The Chosun Ilbo cites a South Korean Defense Ministry report, which states:

[T]he RC-7B took off from its base at 8:30 p.m. on March 4 but had to make an emergency landing about 45 minutes later due to disruption of its GPS functions by jamming signals transmitted from Haeju and Kaesong in North Korea at intervals of five to 10 minutes that afternoon.

The jamming signals also disrupted the GPS devices of coastal patrol boats and speed boats of the South Korean Navy. Several civilian aircraft in the Gimpo area were also affected.

The North deploys vehicle-mounted jammers that can disrupt signals within 50-100 km and is reportedly developing a jamming device capable of disrupting signals more than 100 km away.

As noted in the quote above, the plane that made the emergency landing was a US Army RC-7B ARL (Airborne Reconnaissance Low), a modified DeHavilland DHC-7 crammed with reconnaissance gear. A US defense official denies the incident took place.

Russia’s sabre rattling ahead of a potential peace treaty with Japan and North Korea’s hostile act against a US reconnaissance plane–if the South Korean report is correct– proves again that in the communist mindset, peace and war are interchangeable terms. There are 28,000 US troops in the Republic of Korea as a deterrent to Northern aggression.

One response to “WW4 File: Tokyo accuses Moscow of “provocative military action,” Russian strategic bombers encircle Japan; tiff over S. Kurils unresolved since 1945; US DoD denies North Korea forced down spy plane in March

  1. mah29001 September 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Hmm…I wonder why the Department of Defense was so eager to deny the North Koreans downed a U.S. military recon plane…..sounds like Crazy Kim is hoping that they’d continue the status quo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: