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Hawaii introduces nuclear air raid drills as tensions with North Korea escalate

07 December 2017

China has proposed that the North suspend missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a suspension of US-South Korean military exercises, a suggestion Washington has repeatedly rejected.

The two presidents will discuss denuclearization and peace on the peninsula, Moon's spokesman Park Soo-hyun said Wednesday.

All but five of the 49 countries have violated sanctions in other ways, such as facilitating front companies for the North Korean regime or importing sanctioned goods and minerals.

Tong Zhao, fellow at the Carnegie Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, told CNN at the time that it appeared the Chinese government had made a decision to move past the issue, which he said had led to major losses for both countries, diplomatically and economically.

South Korea is expected to increase defense spending by 7% in 2018 to almost US$40 billion. Last time it was done in November shortly before the US President Donald Trump's visit to South Korea as part of his Asia tour.

However, it is standard practice for the U.S. to send two B-1Bs to the peninsula after North Korean provocations. Beijing is Pyongyang's major ally and trading partner, but many experts have cast doubt on the actual amount of influence Chinese officials have over their North Korean counterparts. That includes North Korea's top trading partner, China, as well as Germany, Brazil, India and France. "Meanwhile, as a powerful nuclear state, China will resolutely return like for like", it said.

U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers will fly over the Korean peninsula on Wednesday as part of a large-scale joint aerial drill being staged with South Korea this week, the South's Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unidentified military source.

"These confrontational war-mongering remarks can not be interpreted in any other way but as a warning to us to be prepared for a war on the Korean peninsula", he said.

The drill is taking place as the UN's political chief Jeffrey Feltman visits Pyongyang for dialogue, in a rare visit by a senior United Nations official.

In a tit-for-tat show of military might, South Korea and the United states have this week held air combat drills - a week after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that it claims puts the USA within its reach.

A South Korean defense official who spoke to News 1 said it is likely any funds being allocated toward upgrades will be recorded "at the end of the year".

Hawaii introduces nuclear air raid drills as tensions with North Korea escalate