Tension Mounts As Massive US-South Korea Military Drills Begin

The US President’s national security adviser has warned that the potential for war is increasing every day, while North Korea said that Monday’s beginning of massive US-South Korea joint air exercise in the Korean peninsula may lead to a nuclear war any moment.

South Korea and the United States kicked off their largest ever air force drills against North Korea’s threats, with two dozen U.S. stealth jets mobilized.

230 aircraft, including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters, and tens of thousands of troops, are taking part in the five-day Vigilant Air Combat Exercise (ACE). Pyongyang’s official organs reacted immediately with exaggerated statements.

An editorial in Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s ruling communist party newspaper, accused the Trump administration of “begging for nuclear war”.

“The U.S. and south Korean puppet military warmongers should bear in mind that their escalating provocation and adding to crimes will only invite more terrible retaliation and precipitate their self-destruction,” the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, an organization handling Pyongyang’s relations with Seoul, said in a statement.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun dismissed the claim and clarified that the annual joint military exercise is of a defensive nature between allies.

White House national security adviser HR McMaster said the United States is “in a race” to address the threat from North Korea.

The potential for war is increasing every day but armed conflict is not the only solution, he told a forum in California. It comes less than a week after the nuclear armed North fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and declared the completion of its “nuclear force.”

The latest ICBM that North Korea test fired has the potential to reach any part of the continental United States, but it would be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, according to a missile defense expert.

by RTT Staff Writer

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