US and South Korea Start Largest-Ever Joint Air Force Drills

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 8, 2017

"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".

The joint exercise is created to enhance readiness and operational capability and to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula, the United States of America military had said before the drills began.

Quoting an unnamed spokesman from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (CPRC and DPRK, respectively), KCNA referred to the US and South Korean military might as "puppet forces" and warned that a planned December 4. aerial drill is a "war rehearsal [that] is just a grave military provocation".

And as the world unites against a rogue, nuclear-capable Pyongyang, Washington's mandate to protect United States citizens and crush any aggression from North Korea against U.S. allies has also crested.

They come a week after North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile to date, which it says can reach all of the US.

China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zheng Zeguang was to meet Matt Pottinger, the head of Asian affairs at the White House's National Security Council, on Thursday to discuss North Korea and trade, a senior USA official said.

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Pyongyang over the weekend blasted the drill, accusing US President Donald's Trump's administration of "begging for nuclear war".

The US and South Korean militaries are now participating in an air-power exercise on the Korean Peninsula involving a record number of stealth jets and an increased pace of simulated bomb runs. The Pentagon has mounted repeated shows of force after North Korean tests.

USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the weekend the possibility of war was "increasing every day".

He said that sanctions need to go further, and North Koreans working in China and other countries also "needs to stop".

Underscoring the tensions, Senator Lindsey Graham of SC urged the Pentagon on Sunday to move dependents of American service members out of South Korea because of the threat of conflict. The U.S. government has not announced a formal decision to evacuate U.S. citizens from South Korea, and there were no such signs in the diplomatic community in Seoul.

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