The US and South Korean governments announced the start of their biggest joint war games for years on 22 August. Tens of thousands of troops, plus warships, aircraft and tanks, simulated an attack on North Korea. It included a “decapitation exercise”, role-playing the murder of North Korean President Kim Jong-Un.
China has announced further drills around Taiwan to be held on the same day. Chinese joint exercises with Thailand took place over the weekend of 13-14 August.
At the same time, the US and Indonesian militaries conducted live-fire joint combat exercises on Indonesia’s Sumatra island. Britain did not take part, but sent observers.
On 16 August, Germany flew a squadron of 13 fighter jets to Indonesia, to show that it could move aircraft 8,000 miles to the China seas within 24 hours. This is Germany’s largest peacetime air force deployment.
All these provocative actions threaten peace in the region.