Sputnik: Will this bomber help enhance regional security or just provoke further tensions?
Adam Broinowski: The B-2 is a long-range bomber that can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons that it can carry are nuclear gravity bombs that could supposedly destroy military infrastructure, particularly underground command and control centers. I would suggest that it is a warning to North Korea of US readiness and capability to attack North Korea.
Sputnik: The US has said that the deployment of this bomber is a demonstration of its commitment to its Asian allies. It is true or is it some semblance of the US really acting purely in its own interests?
Adam Broinowski: Trump is visiting Japan, South Korea and China, beginning in Japan on November 5. On the surface, it would be a demonstration of Washington’s commitment to its allies which are wondering … whether they can rely on the US in the event of a conflict with North Korea.
Trump’s meeting with [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe would guarantee Abe’s push for re-militarizing Japan’s own security. It would also be about reassuring South Korea that the US intends to boost its presence there. Moreover, Trump would ostensibly be there to negotiate further [arms] deals with Japan and South Korea, using the purported threat of North Korea.
Sputnik: This bomber was deployed around the same time that Pentagon chief James Mattis stated that he couldn’t imagine any condition under which the US would accept North Korea as a nuclear power. Is this going to irritate and exacerbate the situation even more? What do you think North Korea’s response is going to be?
Adam Broinowski: The coincidence was to prove Mattis’ seriousness in saying that the US will never accept North Korea as a nuclear power. This would suggest that North Korea cannot negotiate with the US on those terms, expecting Pyongyang to come to the negotiating table ready to get rid of its nuclear capabilities in exchange for something the US may grant to North Korea.
It takes away the leverage that North Koreans are hoping to have with a nuclear weapons capability if any negotiations ever did take place.
Sputnik: Further news is coming out of Europe today. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Europe is now within Pyongyang’s missile range. What is your feeling on this?
Adam Broinowski: It doesn’t seem to be any particular development coming from North Korea to indicate that anything has changed in terms of its missile capability or reach. I don’t exactly know what Stoltenberg is referring to. But I do know that Australia has made similar alarmist comments about the North Korean range being able to target areas in Australia.
I guess it always comes down to the question of why North Korea would want to target Europe or Australia apart from some military infrastructure that might be facilitating US-led military operations.
Another motive [behind Stoltenberg’s statement] is to boost or justify more military expenditure by NATO.