The Economist  - July 27th 2019



North-east Asia's contested skies


Scrambling


China and Russia are testing South Korea's limits



One hope behind the visit by John Bolton, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, to Seoul this week was that it might help patch up a row between South Korea and another close American ally, Japan. The rift, with its roots in colonial history and wartime animosity, has brought trade sanctions from Japan. It is also jeopardizing military co-operation and the renewal next month of an intelligence-sharing agreementA-especially important in face of the threat from North Korea, which on July 25th was reported to have made its latest missile test. As Mr Bolton arrived two days earlier, his arguments for the importance of the agreement had already been bolstered by a vivid demonstration of the fragility of regional peace. South Korea's fighter jets had fired 360 warning shots at a Russian military aircraft that it said had intruded into its airspace.


The details are disputed. South Korea said that Russian and Chinese planes had penetrated its self-declared Korean Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ), an area around its borders where it requires foreign planes to notify it of entry. A Russian spy plane then twice intruded into South Korean airspace, prompting the air force to scramble jets. Russia denied the incursion, and that shots had been fired. But it accused South Korea of "hooliganism in the air" for harassing its aircraft. 


The next day South Korea reported that Russia had changed tack, expressing "deep regret" and blaming the incident on a technical glitch.


Russia soon denied having issued any apology. But whatever the origin of the confrontation, it highlights three reasons for America to worry about north-east Asia. The first is growing military co-operation between China and Russia, which appear to have been conducting a joint patrol around South Korea. A second is the patchwork of unsettled territorial disputes. The alleged incursion took place over the waters around islands known as Dokdo by South Korea, which controls them, and Takeshima by Japan, which also claims them. Japan also scrambled jets and has protested to both Russia (for violating its airspace) and South Korea (for firing in it). 


To the south, Japan and China contest the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands. The disputes were-further complicated when China in 2013 announced its own ADIZ over these islands. South Korea then expanded the kadiz. The three countries' zones overlap.


The third worry is of an accident or misunderstanding. For two countries that have long been at peace, Japan and South Korea keep their fighter pilots busy. In the 12 months that ended this March Japan scrambled its jets 999 times in response to aerial incursions—two-thirds of them by China over the Senkakus, the rest by Russia over yet more disputed islands to the north of Japan. South Korean pilots, too, frequently respond to Chinese forays into theKADIZ. With so much muscle-flexing in the skies, it is easy to imagine a disastrous miscalculation—especially if, as this week, shots are fired.


America must hope the incident will remind South Korea and Japan that the security threat to each comes not from the other but from North Korea and an assertive China, further encouraged by its ever closer ties with Russia; and that in response South Korea and Japan should be shoulder to shoulder, not eyeball to eyeball. ■


CHINA, RUSSIA, KOREA, JAPAN, WILL  PROBABLY  BE  THE  UNITED  COUNTRIES  THAT  WILL  MAKE  UP  THE  6TH  TRUMPET  OF  REVELATION  9.  THEY  WILL  INDEED  BE  WAITING  FOR  THEIR  HOUR  IN  THE  SUN  AS  WE  SAY.


THE  5TH  TRUMPET  WILL  BE  THE  LAST  RESURRECTED  HOLY  ROMAN  EMPIRE  OF  EUROPE.


THE  TIME  WILL  HAVE  COME  FOR  THE  RULERS  OF  THE  WEST  TO  MEET  THE  RULERS  OF  THE  EAST.


IT  IS  THIS  BATTLE  THAT  WOULD  IF  NOT  CUT  SHORT  BY  THE  RETURN  OF  CHRIST  TO  EARTH,  DESTROY  ALL  HUMAN  LIFE  FROM   OUR  PLANET [SEE  MATTHEW  24].


UP  TO  THIS  STAGE  OF  THE  LAST  YEARS  OF  MAN’S  AGE,  THE  NORTH  AND  EAST  NATIONS  WILL  HAVE  BE  WATCHING  AND  WAITING  FOR  THE  TIME  OF  THEIR  HOUR  IN  THE  SAY  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  WORLD.


THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  IS  THE  GRAVEST  AND  MOST  TERRIBLE  OF  ANY  PROPHETIC  BOOK  OF  THE  BIBLE.  THE  AMOUNT  OF  DEATH  MAN  WILL  DO  TO  MAN,  IS  MIND  NUMBING.


IT  NEED  NOT  HAPPEN;  BUT  FOR  IT  NOT  TO  HAPPEN,  THE  NATIONS  OF  THIS  WORLD  WOULD  HAVE  TO  GET  ON  THEIR  KNEES  AND  REPENT!


THEY  WOULD  HAVE  TO  REPENT  OF  SIN  AND  DO  AN  ABOUT  FACE,  TO  SERVE  THE  COMMANDMENTS,  STATUTES,  AND  PRECEPTS,  OF  THE  ETERNAL  GOD.


IT  WOULD  SEEM  NOW,  THAT  IT  IS  NOT  GOING  TO  HAPPEN.


BUT  YOU  AS  AN  INDIVIDUAL  CAN  REPENT  OF  SIN,  AND  SET  YOUR  MIND  TO  HUMBLY  SERVE  THE  LORD;  IN  SO  DOING  YOU  WILL  HAVE  A  PLACE  IN  THE  FIRST  RESURRECTION,  AND  RULE  WITH  CHRIST  JESUS  AND  ALL  THE  APOSTLES  OF  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  A.D.


YES,  YOU  CAN  BE  A  PART  OF  BRINGING  IN  THE  AGE  TO  COME,  WITH  ALL  OF  ITS  WONDER,  PEACE,  HEALTH,  AND  ABUNDANT  LIVING.


Keith Hunt