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DPRK hits out at US over 'dangerous' military drills

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-04 07:21

PYONGYANG - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has accused US President Donald Trump of "begging for nuclear war" by staging "extremely dangerous" military drills on the Korean Peninsula and simulating attacks on the country.

The five-day Vigilant Ace drill begins on Monday and is the largest-ever joint aerial drill between the United States and the ROK.

The DPRK's Foreign Ministry said the exercise will only serve to exacerbate the tensions on the peninsula.

"More than 230 fighters from the US Air Force bases in Japan and the ROK including its latest stealth fighters, the F-22 Raptor and F-35, major strategic US assets as well as some 12,000 US troops are to participate in said drill," said the spokesman.

The US and the ROK hold annual large-scale military drills because of the alleged threat from the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.

DPRK hits out at US over 'dangerous' military drills

The DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said the drill would be unprecedented in both its size and the details of the combat simulation.

"The US is publicly touting the objective of the drill as enhancing the actual combat capability to disable the DPRK's major strategic bases in the early stages of war," the spokesman said.

He pointed out that Washington has just wound up a large-scale nuclear war drill against the DPRK which involved three nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups.

Such exercises are fueling speculation that a US nuclear attack on the DPRK is indeed possible and plausible.

"The Trump team is begging for a nuclear war by staging an extremely dangerous nuclear gamble on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

The sentiments were echoed by the Rondong newspaper, which slammed the drills in an editorial on Sunday.

"It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment.

"The US and South Korean puppet warmongers would be well advised to bear in mind that their DPRK-targeted military drill will be as foolish as an act precipitating their self-destruction."

The tension in the Korean Peninsula is extremely high.

The DPRK test fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile - called Hwasong 15 - last week which it said could hit the entire territory of the US.

Meanwhile, US White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday that the potential for war with the DPRK is "increasing every day" after Pyongyang's latest missile launch.

"I think it's increasing every day, which means that we are in a race, really, we are in a race to be able to solve this problem," McMaster said during the Reagan National Defense Forum in California.

"There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because he's getting closer and closer, and there's not much time left."

The latest launch by the DPRK came a week after the US redesignated the DPRK as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and slapped a new round of sanctions against the Asian country.

Xinhua - AFP

(China Daily 12/04/2017 page11)

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