Friday, 15 December, 2017

B-1B bomber joins US-South Korea drills as tensions escalate

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho right and undersecretary-general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman shake hands at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang North Korea on Thursday B-1B bomber joins US-South Korea drills as tensions escalate
Kenny Thornton | 08 December, 2017, 08:36

The drills follow a successful test by the DPRK of an intercontinental ballistic missile most analysts believe could reach the mainland United States.

The Chinese air force launched an exercise of their own concurrent to the enormous air drills being run by the US and South Korea, causing experts to speculate what, exactly, Beijing is trying to communicate to the West.

The exercise will continue until Friday, involving over 230 aircraft, including six F-22 Raptor fighter jets, six F-35 and two B-1B strategic bombers.

"We now have no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea", a spokesman for the Pacific Command, Navy Lt. Cmdr.

U.S. aircraft, including F-22s, F-35s, and B-1s, on Monday began a massive exercise alongside South Korean forces, a move North Korean officials say brings the countries to the "brink of nuclear war".

It is reported by South Korean joint chiefs of staff.

India Granted Membership of Wassenaar Arrangement
China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls global nuclear commerce. Its opposition has made India's entry into the group hard as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

This handout taken and released by the South Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul on December 6, 2017 shows a US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, two US F-35A and two US F-35B stealth jets flying over South Korea with South Korea's two F-16 and two F-15K fighter jets during a joint military drill. This threat came in retaliation for President Donald Trump's speech at the U.N. General Assembly in which he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea, which the country branded a "declaration of war".

During the Korean War that began in 1950 and is still technically ongoing, China came to the aid of the communist Northern Korean factions against the U.S. and their Southern allies, repaying the fledgling North's contribution to their own civil war, which the Chinese Communist Party had only won the previous year with Korean communist help.

The U.S. Air Force has said the size of this year's drill is "comparable" to previous years.

"If necessary, the president and the United States will have to take care of it, because he has said he's not going to allow this murderous, rogue regime to threaten the United States with the-with the most-destructive weapons on the planet". "The tension between the South and the North is at its peak, and so it is a very cautious situation as if we are walking on thin ice", Moon said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Officials in Pyongyang have described the exercises as the USA president "begging for a nuclear war".

Quoting a document posted on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the report also reported that Changbai County in Jilin Province-located just across the border with North Korea- plans to set up five shelters for North Korean refugees to prepare for a possible war on the Korean Peninsula. Precautions must be taken to ensure Pyongyang does not make a similar error that results in an accidental nuclear war.

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