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North Korea issued threats in advance of a planned aerial drill on Dec. 4 involving U.S. and South Korean forces in the region, but America and its ally have responded by going right on ahead with it.


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Our first look at the video of the fighter jets in formation shows F-22 fighter flying during aerial combat exercises.

The number of jets in the air between the U.S. and South Korea is 230. The drills, which will end Friday, include simulated attacks on a “a mock North Korean missile launch site with mock North Korean radars,” CNN reported, citing a South Korean official.

North Korea threatened Sunday that if the United States continues to conduct joint military operations with South Korea “nuclear war [may break out] at any moment,” Sky News reported. 

The statement is available to view in full on the helpful website KCNA Watch, which prints in English the articles run by the state-run agency KCNA.

Quoting an unnamed spokesman from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (CPRC and DPRK, respectively), KCNA referred to the U.S. and South Korean military might as “puppet forces” and warned that a planned Dec. 4. aerial drill is a “war rehearsal [that] is just a grave military provocation.”

The article notably said President Donald Trump is “running wild,” “insane” and “bluffing” when condemning inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.

North Korea said that further escalation through joint drills “will only invite more terrible retaliation and precipitate their self-destruction.”

President Trump responded last Tuesday to North Korea’s latest ICBM launch, a launch that Defense Secretary James Mattis also said flew “higher […] than any previous shot they’ve taken.” The president then announced the Wednesday after that he had already spoken to China’s President Xi Jinping and that “major sanctions” would be imposed on North Korea.

“Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” he tweeted.

The ICBM, dubbed Hwasong 15 (“Mars”) flew as high as 2,800 miles and traveled for 50 minutes, according to ABC News.

“The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK who have upheld the WPK’s line on the simultaneous development of the two fronts with loyalty,” North Korea said in a statement, “without the slightest vacillation, despite the vicious challenges by the U.S. imperialists and their followers and manifold difficulties.”

The New York Post quoted physicist David Wright, who estimated that the missile could have traveled 8,100 miles and would have “more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States.”

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However, the U.S. Department of Defense said the missile could not threaten the U.S., its territories or its allies.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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