North Korea says United States threats make war unavoidable, China urges calm

Reuters

"Series of violent war remarks coming from the US high-level politicians amid such circumstances have made an outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula an established fact", the spokesperson said.

U.S. state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said direct talks with North Korea were "not on the table until they are willing to denuclearize".

The exercise has been slammed by North Korea, which said the drills prove that US President Donald Trump is "begging" for nuclear war. And as the world unites against a rogue, nuclear-capable Pyongyang, Washington's mandate to protect U.S. citizens and crush any aggression from North Korea against U.S. allies has also crested.

North Korea launched its new Hwasong-15 missile a week ago, claiming to have achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state.

The ministry's spokesman labeled the USA behavior "confrontational warmongering", saying they are pushing Korea to the brink of war.

Kim with North Korean troops.

In September, B-1Bs were among a formation of US military aircraft that flew further north up North Korea's coast than at any time in the past 17 years, according to the US Pacific Command. The sortie prompted Pyongyang's foreign minister to warn that United States bombers could be shot down even if they did not enter North Korean airspace.

The F-22 Raptor is capable of striking major facilities in the North without detection.

Reuters
North Korea says United States threats make war unavoidable, China urges calm

It is reported by South Korean joint chiefs of staff.

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

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

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

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.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen markedly in recent months after North Korea's latest missile and nuclear tests, conducted in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions and global condemnation.

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