US B-1B bombers to fly over Korea in joint exercise

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

The United States has flown a B-1B supersonic bomber over South Korea in part of a massive combined aerial exercise involving hundreds of warplanes, a clear warning after North Korea last week tested its biggest and most powerful missile yet.

The article - reminiscent of USA public service announcements made at the height of the Cold War - comes in the week that the US and South Korea take part in their largest ever join military drill, which has been declared by Kim Jong Un's rogue state as an "open, all-out provocation" that could push the Korean Peninsula to the "brink of war". "The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?" it said in a statement.

He said: "We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it".

"The outbreak of war is not in any side's interest".

Lavrov said he had passed on to Tillerson Pyongyang's desire for direct talks.

North Korea threatened Sunday that if the United States continues to conduct joint military operations with South Korea "nuclear war [may break out] at any moment", Sky News reported. "We are ready to support that, we are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations", Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

But North Korea has a problem there. "It is something that Russian Federation says it agrees with; it is something China has said it agrees with, and many other nations around the world as well", she told a regular briefing.

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A state-run newspaper in northeastern China's Jilin city, which is near the border with North Korea, published a full page of "common sense" advice that was meant to keep its readers alive in the case of attack.

"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 article notably said President Donald Trump is "running wild", "insane" and "bluffing" when condemning inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests. Those drills often provoke the North, which sees them as potential preparations for attack. The sortie prompted Pyongyang's foreign minister to warn that USA bombers could be shot down even if they did not enter North Korean airspace. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today.

On Wednesday, the U.S. dispatched a B-1B jet to Korea for a joint training exercise with several warplanes, including F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.

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

Washington has said it remains open to talks if North Korea demonstrates it is serious about giving up its nuclear weapons but that its recent activities showed it was not.

On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, raised doubts about USA participation in the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in February, telling Fox News that Washington was concerned about its citizens. More than 28,000 United States troops are stationed there, many living with their families.

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