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China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise

08 December 2017

F-16 and A-10 aircraft were being relocated from Osan Air Base to the South Korean base at Gwangju "due to adverse weather conditions", while the F-35s and F-16s were moved to Gwangju due to a runway problem at Kunsan, the 7th Air Force public affairs office said in an email.

The Vigilant Ace exercise, which was scheduled before the missile launch, involves 230 aircraft and about 12,000 service members from the US and South Korea.

"Should the USA miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the USA dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened".

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said in September the country reserved the right to shoot down U.S. B-1B bombers-which no longer carry nuclear weapons, despite North Korea's claims to the contrary-even if these weren't entering the North Korean airspace.

On Wednesday, a B-1B bomber was joined by F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters for what South Korea's joint chiefs of staff referred to as simulated strikes at a military field.

"My biggest expectation for the Wing is to remove any "exercise" mindset from the equation and maximize the realism of every response". Amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's November 29 test-launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Graham said in a December 3 appearance on CBS that it was "crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea". This threat came in retaliation for President Donald Trump's speech at the U.N. General Assembly in which he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea, which the country branded a "declaration of war". Lindsey Graham's suggestion South Korea is now too risky to let American families remain there - and has no plan to begin evacuations, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday. "Its intentions are to use that weapon for nuclear blackmail, and then, to, quote, you know, "reunify" the peninsula under the red banner".

The North Korean spokesperson described the remark as an "alarming sign", given the statements were made amid the "largest-ever joint aerial drill".

Officials in Pyongyang have described the exercises as the US president "begging for a nuclear war". During the Cold War, Soviet doctrine-which North Korean doctrine is based on-called for snap exercises to provide cover for mobilization efforts to go to war. Precautions must be taken to ensure Pyongyang does not make a similar error that results in an accidental nuclear war.

China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise