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

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

An article in North Korea's ruling party's mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday accused the US of trying to provoke a second Korean war and planning a pre-emptive strike. The exercises were also attended by South Korean Air Force F-15Ks and KF-16s.

The drills, which started on Monday and will run until Friday, come after North Korea tested last week what it called its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach all of the United States. F-22 Raptors, F-35 Lightning IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-15 Eagles, F/A-18 Hornets and EA-18G Growlers will be flying alongside South Korean F-15K Slam Eagles and F-4 Phantom IIs during the wargame under realistic wartime conditions.

Though Chinese military officials will likely claim that the new drills are not in direct response to USA and South Korean actions, military experts agree that this show of force warns against the continued provocation of North Korea.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday expressed concerns over the continued deployment of USA strategic assets.

Exercise Vigilant Ace 18 runs from Monday to Friday, and includes 12,000 U.S. personnel along with airmen with the Republic of Korea Air Force.

"Through the exercise, the South Korean and USA air forces have demonstrated the alliance's strong will and capability for strong retaliation against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats", the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The South Korean army is reportedly on course to launch a combat unit consisting of drone bots sometime next year, in a move that signals a new era of drone bots in the military.

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North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details. By now, we all know that North Korea's been hard at work dong what they do best: Launching test missiles and fiery rhetoric.

Those areas overlap with Japanese and South Korean airspace.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for North Korea's foreign ministry said threats of a preemptive war against Pyongyang have made future war unavoidable on the Korean peninsula.

Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official, is the highest-level United Nations official to visit North Korea since 2012.

Russian Federation and China remain behind a so-called "double-freeze" proposal, which would see the United States suspend joint drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests.

It says its weapons programmes are a necessary defence against USA plans to invade.

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