'Vigilant Ace' war games act as show of force against defiant DPRK

Exercise Vigilant Ace 18 kicks off

KCNA said on Tuesday that the exercises in which the bomber took part are "simulating an all-out war", including drills to "strike the state leadership and nuclear and ballistic rocket bases, air fields, naval bases and other major objects".

"We now have no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea", a spokesman for the Pacific Command, Navy Lt. Cmdr.

"Through the exercise, the South Korean and US 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 has long spoken out against joint drills between the US and South Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is said to be most afraid of stealth fighters as they can easily get past the regime's air defenses undetected.

Since the beginning of the week, South Korea and the United States have been conducting their largest joint air force training - the Watchdog.

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday urged the Pentagon to start moving U.S. military dependants, such as spouses and children, out of South Korea, saying conflict with North Korea was getting close.

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"Vigilant Ace is an opportunity for us to do just that; focus on getting smarter, faster and more capable than we were yesterday while we generate combat airpower and strengthen the alliance". The exercises were also attended by South Korean Air Force F-15Ks and KF-16s.

Aircraft taking part will be flown from eight US and South Korean military installations. By now, we all know that North Korea's been hard at work dong what they do best: Launching test missiles and fiery rhetoric.

The Trump Administration does not seem to consider the North Korean dictator to be a rational actor, and therefore, seems to believe he can not be deterred.

North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details.

"Several B-1B Lancer in support of F-22 Raptor conducted training maneuvers with the bombing, demonstrating the ability and determination of the allies to give a tough response to North Korea's missile and nuclear provocations", - stated in the message. The exercise allows US and RoK forces to train together to deter aggression, preserve the armistice, and defeat any attack against the alliance. Feltman held talks with deputy foreign minister Pak Myong Gun on Wednesday.

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