China's air force drills warn US, South Korea

Putin and Xi

North Korea's foreign ministry blamed the drills and "confrontational warmongering" by USA officials for making war inevitable.

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".

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.

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.

Quoting an unnamed spokesman from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (CPRC and DPRK, respectively), KCNA referred to the USA and South Korean military might as "puppet forces" and warned that a planned December 4. aerial drill is a "war rehearsal [that] is just a grave military provocation".

"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".

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Washington has warned that North Korea would be "utterly destroyed" if conflict did break out - and last month, US President Donald Trump declared North Korea a designated state sponsor of terrorism, which enabled even greater sanctions upon Mr Kim's regime.

Nauert said North Korea was "not showing any interest in sitting down and having any kind of serious conversations when they continue to fire off ballistic missiles".

The United States and South Korea deployed THAAD, a USA missile defense system, that is strongly opposed in Beijing.

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

The warplanes simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea's eastern coast. The Pentagon said it has "no intent" to move out any dependants.

However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Thursday the United States looked forward to participating in the games and was engaged with South Korea and other nations to secure the venues. The United States stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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