South Korea military Jung Yeon-Je/Getty Images

La voie chinoise de la paix dans la péninsule Coréenne

BEIJING – Une nouvelle crise couve dans la péninsule Coréenne. À la mi-février, la Corée du Nord a procédé à un essai de missiles balistiques de portée intermédiaire. Le 1er mars, les États-Unis et la Corée du Sud ont démarré des manœuvres militaires conjointes d’une ampleur et d’une intensité inédites.

Ces exercices militaires se dérouleront jusqu’à la fin du mois d’avril. Des forces terrestres, aériennes et navales en nombre non négligeable y participeront, et des moyens stratégiques seront mis à contribution, notamment des bombardiers B-52 ainsi que le porte-avions américain Carl Vinson. En outre, malgré les objections de la Russie et de la Chine, les États-Unis accélèrent le déploiement en Corée du Sud de leur système de défense anti-missiles en haute altitude (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense – THAAD).

Le jour même où les États-Unis et la Corée du Sud commençaient leurs manœuvres militaires, le dirigeant nord-coréen Kim Jong-un inspectait le quartier général de l’unité interarmes 966 de l’Armée du peuple coréen. Cinq jours plus tard, le Nord lançait quatre missiles balistiques, dont l’un se serait abîmé au large des côtes japonaises, à l’intérieur de la ligne des 200 miles nautiques. Ces essais amènent la plupart des experts à penser que la Corée du Nord a significativement accru ses capacités en matière nucléaire et de missiles balistiques, et qu’elle devrait être capable, d’ici 2020, de fixer des têtes nucléaires à des missiles de longue portée susceptibles d’atteindre le territoire des États-Unis.

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