Bad weather and a temporary runway closure forced the Air Force to move USA fighter jets and Warthogs to a South Korean base Thursday during joint war games that have raised tensions with North Korea. "It is a trite method employed by aggressors to mount a sudden preemptive attack while pretending to conduct war drills", the article said. USA and Korean forces have been preparing the for Vigilant Ace for weeks.
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.
North Korea alleged last week that it had successfully conducted another ICBM launch, shortly before once again threatening nuclear destruction for both South Korea and the United States. The exercise has been slammed by North Korea, which said the drills prove that US President Donald Trump is "begging" for nuclear war.
The bombers were dispatched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and flew over the Korean peninsula, reportedly staging simulated bombing drills while flying in formation with around 20 aircraft participating in the annual "Vigilant Ace" air combat drill.
"Vigilant Ace is an opportunity for us to do just that; focus on getting smarter, faster and more capable than we were yesterday while we generate combat airpower and strengthen the alliance".
The North Korean spokesperson described the remark as an "alarming sign", given the statements were made amid the "largest-ever joint aerial drill". While the exercise comes on the heels of North Korea's missile test, the timing of the wargames is purely coincidence.
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.
The Trump Administration does not seem to consider the North Korean dictator to be a rational actor, and therefore, seems to believe he can not be deterred.
North Korea regularly uses its state media to threaten the United States and its allies.
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.
China and Russian Federation have staged massive military drills in airspace and waters near the Korean Peninsula to counter a big U.S.