The US army has started deploying its group of 14 fifth-generation stealth tactical F-22 Raptor fighters to its Kadena Air Base on Japan’s Okinawa Island, according to the Kyodo News agency. The media, citing governmental sources, reports that the aircraft will stay at this base for a month.
The US marine strike group, including one of the world’s biggest nuclear aircraft carriers, the Ronald Reagan, which can carry around 90 vehicles, has been also sent to the area of the Korean Peninsula for patrolling. Last year it had participated in military maneuvers in the region, with which the US responded to North Korean nuclear activities.
The Kyodo outlet states that governmental sources have deployed the fighter jets due to the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is to take place in less than two weeks in Singapore. The fate of the peace summit is still unclear since Trump announced his intent to cancel it, although North Korea has officially shut down and demolished its primary nuclear testing site. The South Korean-US Max Thunder military drills that were held from May 11 until May 25, criticized as a provocation by Pyongyang, also cast a shadow on a potential peace deal.
North Korea canceled ministerial-level negotiations with its Southern neighbor and also expressed doubts about the Singapore summit in light of.
Trump later indicated that he still might meet Kim Jong-un as scheduled, or postpone the summit.
But associate Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University Daniel P. Franklin disagrees with the reasoning, suggested by the Japanese media.
"I do think you’re wrong on the assumption that the movement of these airplanes has something to do with the upcoming summit. Rather, the deployment is probably related to a disagreement that is going on between China, the Philippines and United States over resource mining in the South China Sea," he told Sputnik.