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China Launches Their Own Air Exercises to Counter US/South Korea Drill

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An F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Alaska takes off from Gwangju Air Base South Korea Monday Dec. 4 2017. JESSICA SMITH  U.S. AIR FORCE

"North Korea has been very critical of the military drills when it comes to Korea and the USA forces using stealth fighters", according to Woo Jung-Yeop, research fellow at Sejong Institute. "It is a trite method employed by aggressors to mount a sudden preemptive attack while pretending to conduct war drills", the article said.

"We now have no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea", a spokesman for the Pacific Command, Navy Lt. Cmdr.

"Through the exercise, the South Korean and US air forces have demonstrated the alliance's strong will and capability for strong retaliation against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats", the South Korean military said in the statement, adding that the exercise also improved the two air forces' readiness to deploy "a rapid response force". The operation in question has North Korea in mind and is aimed at practicing for any potential need to neutralize North Korean nuclear and missile targets.

Exercise Vigilant Ace 18 runs from Monday to Friday, and includes 12,000 USA personnel along with airmen with the Republic of Korea Air Force.

"Certainly when the USA seriously contemplates military action family members should be removed".

North Korea's foreign ministry responded to the exercises by accusing President Donald Trump of making an "extremely risky nuclear gamble" and "driving the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of crisis".

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One B-1B strategic bomber was deployed on the Korean peninsula to carry out the U.S Pacific Command's "Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) mission", U.S. Air Force confirmed to NK News, adding that the drill was not part of Vigilant Ace 18.

Those areas overlap with Japanese and South Korean airspace.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit China next Wednesday for a summit with his counterpart Xi Jinping, Seoul's presidential Blue House said. The start was given only a week after the DPRK conducted a new intercontinental ballistic missile test.

North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday expressed concerns over the continued deployment of USA strategic assets.

Russia has communication channels open with North Korea and Moscow is ready to exert its influence on Pyongyang, RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as saying on Tuesday.

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