South Korea, US Launch "Largest Ever" Aerial Drills As Pyongyang Warns Of Nuclear War

The US and South Korea launched their largest aerial drills yet on Monday, less than a week after North Korea tested its new Hwasong-15 missile which military observers said has the capacity to strike Washington DC, or nearly any other location in the continental US. The launched shattered nearly two months of calm as many suspected the North’s benefactors in China were making good on their promises to rein in the restive state’s belligerent behavior.

As we reported Sunday, the annual US-South Korean drills, called Vigilant Ace, will run until Friday. Six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters will be deployed among the more than 230 aircraft taking part. The North has condemned the exercises as yet another provocation.

F-35 fighters will also participate in the drill, which will involve the largest number of 5th generation fighters, according to a South Korea-based US Air Force spokesman quoted by Reuters.

Around 12,000 US troops, including the Marines and Navy, will join South Korean troops. Aircraft participating in the drills will take off from eight different US and South Korean military installations.

South Korean media reports said B-1B Lancer bombers could join the exercise this week. The US Air Force spokesman could not confirm the reports.

The joint exercise is designed to enhance readiness and operational capability and to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula, the US military had said before the drills began.

The drills come a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile ever in defiance of international sanctions and condemnation.

North Korean state media said the country would consider the “highest-level hard-line countermeasures in history” in response to the drills. It referred to a similar statement in September, which Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said may include a ground-level test of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea regularly cites military drills around the peninsula as justification for its nuclear and missile-testing program. The isolated regime on Nov. 29 launched an ICBM with improved technology that can deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the US, and claimed it had completed its nuclear force.

According to Bloomberg, the joint exercises are similar in size to previous drills, but with the inclusion of six F-22s, six F-35As and 12 F-35B fighters, according to a U.S. military statement. The U.S. and South Korea said the exercises are an annual event were aimed at ensuring peace and security on the peninsula. Yonhap News reported that the allies planned to stage simulated attacks on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets.

US officials took to the Sunday shows to warn that the possibility of war with the North is growing larger by the day. White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told Fox News on Sunday that North Korea was the greatest immediate threat to the US, saying that the potential for war “is increasing every day.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham said it’s time to start moving the families of American military personnel out of South Korea. “It’s crazy to send thousands of children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea,” the member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Meanwhile, a Russian delegation visited North Korea last week and reported that the North would be open to talks with the US as long as Russia participates as a third-party observer. Vitaly Pashin, one of the delegation’s members, said that before last week’s ICBM launch, North Korea had refrained from military provocations for 75 days while awaiting reciprocal steps from the US.

But instead of meeting North Korea halfway the US “announced large-scale surprise military drills.”
 

Comments

Eyes Opened Killtruck Mon, 12/04/2017 - 14:30 Permalink

The fact that u show such little respect for a SOVEREIGN nation ("shit country") shows just exactly America  Inc. is a country of assholes... what YOUR country is doing to NK & a bunch of other nations is being done in your name and with your aquiescence.... own it or do something to STOP IT !!And "fat retard" is uncalled for.... read a fucking history book & see how your country has treated NK ... then decide who deserves the insults...

In reply to by Killtruck

peterk D.T.Barnum Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:04 Permalink

Hopefully  NK  bombs Washington.The entire world is waiting to see  the US get what its asked for ,  after many decades of war mongering. Bring some of that WAR home!!Alot of zerohedgers are US  based... you dont like to hear this stuff im sure, but hey as OSAMA said, the US is a democracy,  so you all voted for this crap... youre all liable. 

In reply to by D.T.Barnum

Sigh. peterk Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:23 Permalink

"you're all liable"...for rescuing Europe, China &c. from the Axis powers? Of course we are! For pulling the rug out from under USSR CCCP commies? Yep, that too. A damn shame that the Middle East is for shit, but it's never been right, since that crazed madman came along and created Islam some centuries back.Wasn't until Democrats & Republicans became indistinguishable from each other, became the Ruling Class Big Establishment Beltway Aristocracy Elitist Political Set, that this little Republic finally went south. Average citizens are clueless; programmed by mass media to be expectant, lazy sloths. We've been overrun from within by what Khrushchev said would happen...the siren sound of Marxism...we are all but buried.Someone play taps for us when the lights finally go, and the Gods of the Copybook Headings come 'round to 'splain things yet again.http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm

In reply to by peterk

FORD_FIESTA Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:25 Permalink

If you need to shoot someone,,,,continue firing until the Magazine is empty,,,,,Wipe NK from the face of the Earth, or shut the fuck up and go home. Threats never work.

mabuhay1 Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:37 Permalink

Why ar we doing this? Well, let's see... maybe it is because we should have done something about this say 50 years ago... so we are now faced with a tremendous threat that should and should have been avoided. It is way too late now for more do nothing sanctions or dialog with morons, now it is time that we actually face the threat and deal with it.

wally_12 mabuhay1 Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:51 Permalink

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GEN McArthur who was fired by Truman, planned to spread radioactive material around North Korea making in uninhabitable.That would have been over 60 years ago.

In reply to by mabuhay1

PrivetHedge mabuhay1 Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:56 Permalink

There is no threat, it's very simple: we need to stop attacking them.What we should have done 67 years ago is left them alone.That's basically all they want, they, Russia and China are constantly saying this, only the US military refuses to drop it, their favorite country to bully for the temerity to stand up to them, to plainly speak about Israel and to be living on $10Tn of precious minerals.

In reply to by mabuhay1

Omega_Man Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:38 Permalink

Kim should take this opportunity to take out most of US and SK assets while they are gathered in one place.  Nuke the fleet in the pacific ...that will teach the terrororist yankees. If you are going to fight, strike the first blow and TKO the yanks... then ask if they had enough

wmbz Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:41 Permalink

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said may include a ground-level test of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.Minister Ho, his wifes name is Ida and his sisters is Ima.

koan Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:00 Permalink

Sorry can't take NK seriously, nuclear war against the US? I don't know enough to guess Kimmy's endgame but I seriously doubt it's nuclear war.

Let it Go Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:02 Permalink

 Generally, we see little movement in the list of the "Worlds 10 Worst Problems" but we would be remiss or negligent not to do some serious reshuffling to reflect the drum beats of war flowing out of Washington and North Korea. Recently "Weapons of war and mass destruction" have taken a leap from fourth to first place. This is very significant because it can be very difficult to get this particular genie back in the bottle once it is out. http:///nuclear-war-moves-up-list-of-worlds-10.html

luckylongshot Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:14 Permalink

Since totally destroying North Korea in the Korean war the US has attacked around 30 countries and killed countless innocent people. Furthermore the US has been exposed  supporting some of the worst terrorist organisations on earth. In comparison North Korea has attacked no other country over the period and has not been exposed supporting terror groups. So if there is a serious problem on the Korean peninsular it makes more sense to look at the US as being the villain than it does to blame North Korea. What would really help the world right now is a takedown of the ruling elite in the US as they are the main problem humanity faces today.

Verniercaliper shovelhead Mon, 12/04/2017 - 09:56 Permalink

True, except that they didn't push back "inch by inch"...the NK army was routed and put to flight, eventually losing the entire country and provoking Chinese intervention. And few know that the reason NK invaded in the first place was that before the war, the US feared a South Korean provocation and refused to arm SK with heavy weapons. In those days, the South was a dirt farm and the North was the industrial powerhouse...today it's the opposite. The South could roll up the NK military on their own and in the many times I've been there and talked to local military, it has become clear that a major faction of SK leadership just want to clean out NK  and unify the peninsula. More than one US officer I've spoken to has said that the US is in SK to protect the North from Seoul, not the other way around...

In reply to by shovelhead

africoman Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

"When they wish to eat a vulture, they call it a guinea fowl"This Proverb can be applied to these events, ever increasing deployment of fucking U$A in the region, North Korean peninsula.The provocation, drill and build up was meant for Russia.