North Korea Implies War Is Inevitable After US-South Korean Military Exercise

Image Kimchaek in North Korea

"The remaining question now is: when will the war break out".

But even though both sides make overtures toward war, it's far from a sure thing.

North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Mr Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details, later issuing a photograph of him and two members of his team.

"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.

North Korea also claimed that "bellicose remarks" from high-ranking USA officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, make war inevitable. North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile capability would top the agenda, it said.

Asked about the bomber's flight, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing in Beijing: "We hope relevant parties can maintain restraint and not do anything to add tensions on the Korean peninsula".

"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 Pentagon has mounted repeated shows of force after North Korean tests.

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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.

"B-1B bombers have been regularly dispatched to the Korean peninsula over the past years; however, it seems that the US Air Force might have enhanced its training to better prepare for actual warfare", he said.

The weekend saw both White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of SC say chances of war with Pyongyang were growing. The president then announced the Wednesday after that he had already spoken to China's President Xi Jinping and that "major sanctions" would be imposed on North Korea.

The number of jets in the air between the USA and South Korea is 230.

"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. The United States stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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. Feltman met North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho on Thursday, North Korea's official KCNA news agency said.

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