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'Vigilant Ace' war games act as show of force against defiant DPRK

08 December 2017

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. That led to events such as the Able Archer incident in 1983 where the Kremlin mistook a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise as preparations to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union-the closest Washington and Moscow ever came to World War III.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday the Guam-based bomber simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea's eastern coast during a drill with US and South Korean fighter jets. "It is a trite method employed by aggressors to mount a sudden preemptive attack while pretending to conduct war drills", the article said.

Though Chinese military officials will likely claim that the new drills are not in direct response to US and South Korean actions, military experts agree that this show of force warns against the continued provocation of North Korea.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that his country and its isolated northern neighbor were "on thin ice", but that he was optimistic of a peaceful solution to the nuclear and missile crisis.

"If necessary, the president and the United States will have to take care of it, because he has said he's not going to allow this murderous, rogue regime to threaten the United States with the-with the most-destructive weapons on the planet".

A F-15 from Kadena Air Base, Japan, lands at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, Dec. 01, 2017. The fighter aircraft are participating in the pinensula-wide routine exercise, Vigilant Ace-18. The five-day exercise is the largest ever combined air force drill between the two allies, involving 230 warplanes and around twelve-thousand personnel.

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The South Carolina Republican, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, last Sunday said North Korea was pushing the United States closer to conflict and "it's time start moving American dependents out of South Korea".

But very few believe these, or other war games, will halt Kim Jong-un's quest to build a functioning nuclear-tipped rocket. North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile capability would top the agenda, it said.

It says its weapons programmes are a necessary defence against US plans to invade.

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The threats come a week after North Korea's latest launch of an ICBM, which is believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the US mainland.

'Vigilant Ace' war games act as show of force against defiant DPRK