It is certainly starting to feel like North Korea, China, and Russia, (and maybe Saudi Arabia, too), are congealing in a very worrisome way. It’s as though the authoritarian despots of the world are looking to align themselves for something larger than a European land war. It’s as if they are looking to promote an ideological shift toward tyranny.
Of course, the relationships that are shared by these nations aren’t fully understood – and that’s probably the point. But there are some clues as to how this new axis of evil is coordinated, and just how bold they’re willing to be.
First up, North Korea.
North Korea test-launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile and two shorter-range weapons toward its eastern waters Wednesday, South Korea said, hours after President Joe Biden ended a trip to Asia where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend its allies in the face of the North’s nuclear threat.
The suspected ICBM didn’t fly its full range. But if confirmed, it would still be North Korea’s first test of an ICBM system in about two months amid stalled nuclear diplomacy with the United States. The launch suggests North Korea is determined to continue its efforts to modernize its arsenal despite its first COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused outside worries about a humanitarian disaster.
And then there was the Russia-China stunt:
At least six Russian and Chinese military aircraft conducted a joint operation over the Sea of Japan, East China Sea, and the Western Pacific on Tuesday in the latest sign of their deepening military relationship amid growing tensions with their neighbors and the US.Advertisement - story continues below
The joint flight is the first exercise between the two countries since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began on February 24 and appears to be their first joint bomber flight since late 2021.
The Russian bombers were the infamous TU-95’s: A nuclear capable monster that has been part and parcel to previous posturing by the petulant Putin.