Two B-1B Lancers stage drills on western coast of Korean peninsula

Song Young-gil, the head of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation attends the group's first meeting held in Seoul on Dec. 7 2017

"North Korea has been very critical of the military drills when it comes to Korea and the US forces using stealth fighters", according to Woo Jung-Yeop, research fellow at Sejong Institute. The aircraft participating in the exercises are simulating the destruction of the DPRK's nuclear and missile facilities, as well as mobile rocket launchers.

A total of 12,000 U.S. service members are taking part in the annual Vigilant Ace drills alongside South Korean troops.

China may have recently conducted air force drills to send a message to the United States and South Korea, while flying near the peninsula to collect military intelligence.

The danger, because of the bellicose statements emanating from the White House, is that North Korea could easily mistake an exercise as a prelude to an actual attack.

The United States Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force are kicking off their massive Vigilant Ace 18 annual wargames just days after the North Korea tested its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile on November 28.

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. The exercise has been slammed by North Korea, which said the drills prove that US President Donald Trump is "begging" for nuclear war.

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He also said that it could prompt the Turkish government to cut diplomatic ties with Israel. Trump signed that waiver on Wednesday.

During the Korean War that began in 1950 and is still technically ongoing, China came to the aid of the communist Northern Korean factions against the U.S. and their Southern allies, repaying the fledgling North's contribution to their own civil war, which the Chinese Communist Party had only won the previous year with Korean communist help.

Simultaneously, China launched drills December 2 that involve sending new Shaanxi Y-9 transport aircraft over the South China Sea, simulating an airdrop over an island in contested waters.

Some 1,000 marines from Russia's Pacific Fleet have been conducting a live-fire drill with tanks in in Siberia, including the border areas with North Korea, Newsweek reported Monday quoting a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Chinese spokesman did not provide details on dates, but the announcement came the same day Washington and Seoul launched their biggest joint air force exercise.

North Korea regularly uses its state media to threaten the United States and its allies. Feltman held talks with deputy foreign minister Pak Myong Gun on Wednesday.

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