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North Korea warns joint US-South Korea military drill risks nuclear war

04 December, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Imagery Shows Latest North Korean Missile Larger, More Powerful

"The US aircraft that have landed on South Korea include six F-22s, six F-35s, six EA-18Gs", the official said.

North Korea has warned that a "reckless" joint military drill by the US and South Korea could spark a nuclear war.

The exercises come after last week's test-launch by North Korea of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yet, though the US-South Korea drills had already been planned.

The statement came after Yonhap News reported that six US Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named "Vigilant Ace" scheduled for December 4 to 8.

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet later this month to discuss North Korea's nuclear programme after the reclusive country tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching anywhere in the continental USA earlier this week.

A day later, a commentary from Pyongyang's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, said US-South Korea joint air exercises scheduled for Monday to Friday are a "dangerous provocation" pushing the region "to the brink of a nuclear war".

At the end of November the USA unveiled fresh sanctions against the North, which it said were created to stop its funding of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Cloaked with the world's most advanced stealth coating, the F-22s and F-35s would likely be called upon to lead a potential air campaign against North Korea should the situation escalate to the point of using military force, experts say.

It flew 600 miles (950 km) before splashing down in waters near Japan and is potentially capable of striking targets as far as 8,100 (13,000 km), which would put Washington within reach.

"Our initial analysis of the photos showed that there were clear differences between the Hwasong-15 and Hwasong-14 in terms of the looks of the warhead, the joint of the first and second stages of the missile, and overall size", Roh told a briefing on Thursday.

It is likely the ballistic missile, fired higher than any previous North Korean missile, broke up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, the official said.

China should take unilateral action to cut off North Korean oil imports, McMaster said, adding, "you can't shoot a missile without fuel". "The combination of those two things means it really is a new, more capable missile". "But what we want to do is convince others, it is in their interest to do more", McMaster said.

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