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North Korea says USA threats make war unavoidable, China urges calm

08 December 2017, 09:52 | Taylor George

GETTY READY US and South Korean forces are baring down on North Korea

North Korea

Two dozen USA stealth fighter jets took part in the drills, six of them F-22s, six of them F-35As, as well as a dozen F-35Bs, marking the first time the highly-advanced jets have cruised the skies above Korea at the same time.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry has once again criticized the latest drills in the peninsula, saying that frequent drills and United States threats of preemptive war are making the idea of a new war on the peninsula unavoidable and "an established fact".

The B-1B Lancer strategic bomber and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets joined South Korean aircraft for the drill at the Pilsung Firing Range, part of a massive five-day exercise that began Monday.

KCNA said on Tuesday the exercises were "simulating an all-out war", including drills to "strike the state leadership and nuclear and ballistic rocket bases, air fields, naval bases and other major objects".

North Korea has long spoken out against joint drills between the US and South Korea.

"The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK who have upheld the WPK's line on the simultaneous development of the two fronts with loyalty", North Korea said in a statement, "without the slightest vacillation, despite the vicious challenges by the US imperialists and their followers and manifold difficulties".

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The aircraft entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) over the waters south of Jeju Island and conducted simulated bombing drills over the Yellow Sea near North Korea and China, according to the official, cited by Yonhap. "The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people", said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said last night's drills simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea's eastern coast during a drill with US and South Korean fighter jets. "The outbreak of war is not in any side's interest".

"We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it", the regime added.

While B-1Bs are no longer equipped to carry nuclear weapons of their own, they would be key to any strike targeting major North Korean facilities, he said.

The rising tensions coincide with a rare visit to the isolated North by the UN's political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman this week, the highest-level United Nations official to visit North Korea since 2012.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen markedly in recent months after North Korea's latest missile and nuclear tests, conducted in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and worldwide condemnation. Feltman held talks with deputy foreign minister Pak Myong Gun on Wednesday.



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