Two B-1B Lancers stage drills on western coast of Korean peninsula

South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images

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Strategic bombers of the USA air force B-1B Lancer struck on Wednesday the attacks on educational targets on the territory of the Republic of Korea near the border with North Korea. Other U.S. assets include two B-1B bombers and six Growler electronic warfare jets, as well as dozens of F-15s and F-16s.

The U.S. Air Force has deployed one of its B-1B Lancer strategic bomber aircraft as part of coordinated military drills with South Korea that North Korea denounced as provocations.

The United States and South Korea began the largest-ever Vigilant ACE drills on Monday, mobilizing 230 aircraft and 12,000 personnel.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday expressed concerns over the continued deployment of USA strategic assets. "The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people", said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement.

North Korea hates such displays of American military might at close range and typically uses strong language to condemn them as invasion rehearsals.

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.

A spokesman for the ruling party-linked Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC) on Sunday warned of "terrible retaliation" in response to the drills.

He said: "We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it".

But amid North Korea's and the US's escalating rhetoric and military pressure, one option has emerged that's only slightly less desirable than all-out combat: perpetual brinkmanship.

North Korea's official KCNA state news agency said at the weekend the Trump administration was "begging for nuclear war" by staging the drills.

The weekend saw both White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of SC say chances of war with Pyongyang were growing.

The unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman said: 'The large-scale nuclear war exercises conducted by the USA in succession are creating touch-and-go situation on the Korean peninsula and series of violent war remarks coming from the USA high-level politicians amid such circumstances have made an outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula an established fact.

"The overall scale of forces helps contribute to a realistic site picture for those participating, especially with regard to air assets integrating in a war-time scenario with their support personnel and equipment", the US military said.

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