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

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 8, 2017

Another state department spokesperson, Justin Higgins, said it was not enough for North Korea to freeze its nuclear program, and it "must be prepared to come to the table ready to chart a course to "cease and roll back" that program.

A spokesman for North Korea said on Thursday: "We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the United States miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the USA dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened".

North Korea suggested the drills they will push the area to the "brink of war".

B-1 flights represent the US's go-to response for North Korean provocations, such as missile tests, and the bomber flights draw a strong, sometimes dangerously escalating response from Pyongyang.

The article didn't name North Korea or any other military power, despite their proximity.

North Korea says a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula has become a matter of when, not if, as it continued to criticize a massive joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea.

But with the USA using its best planes to message North Korea, and Pyongyang demonstrating missiles that experts assess can hit anywhere in the USA, it's unclear just how much higher tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate.

Lavrov said he had passed on Pyongyang's desire for direct talks to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when the two met on the sidelines of a conference in Vienna on Thursday.

Previously, North Korea threatened to shoot down B-1s flying even outside its airspace and to loft missiles at Guam, where the B-1s are based. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today.

The US's F-22 is fully stealth and North Korea likely can't hope to down it.

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.

The warplanes simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea's eastern coast.

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.

Meanwhile China, North Korea's neighbour and lone major ally, again urged calm and said war was not the answer.

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