World War 3: Peninsula on 'brink of nuclear war' – FURIOUS North Korea react to US drills

KCNA has branded the US and South Korea as “foolish” and said the latest staged attack on their regime could “lead to a nuclear war at any moment.”

The Kim Jong-un mouthpiece said: “More than 230 fighters…including the ultramodern stealth fighters F-22 Raptor, F-35A, F-35B…and over tens of thousands of troops including 12 000 US troops are to be involved in the drill.

“Such drill is a dangerous provocation as it is driving the tension on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war. It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment.

“The US and the south Korean puppet forces are so foolish as to run amok with such stealth fighters. The stealth fighters which the enemies boast so much of will not escape the fate of a tiger moth.”

Their response comes after fighter jets arrived in South Korea for a joint air drill between Seoul and Washington in a show of force against Kim Jong-un’s North Korea.

The fighter planes are capable of accurately hitting targets without being detected by an enemy radar.

This will be the first time six F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets have flown over South Korea at one time.

The US plans to send F-35A and F-35B stealth jets, F-16C fighter planes and others including an unknown number of B-1B bombers.

The South Korean Air Force will also dispatch F-15K, KF-16 and F-5 fighter jets.

The allies agreed in October to enhance the deployments of US strategic assets to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

This comes after North Korea fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wednesday which Seoul says is capable of flying 13,000 kilometres, declaring that it has completed the “state nuclear force.”

Within minutes of North Korea’s ICBM launch, South Korea had fired its own missile launch in retaliation.

The North Korean missile was fired eastwards from the hermit state. The missile landed about 210km west of Japan’s Kyurokujima island, Tokyo said.

Japanese media reports the missile was in the air for 50 minutes – indicating a very high altitude flight path.

It travelled east for around 620 miles and to an altitude of 2,500 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan.

US leader Donald Trump was briefed on the missile while it was still in the air.

He spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In, with all three leaders reaffirming their commitment to combat the North Korean threat.

Trump said: “It is a situation we will handle.”

North Korea has often condemned US and South Korea’s military drills as a war rehearsal for an invasion but both Seoul and Washington have declared the exercises are defensive in nature.

Donald Trump tweeted: “After North Korea missile launch, it’s more important than ever to fund our gov’t & military!” following the ICBM launch.

KCNA said: “The test-fire of intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15, newly developed under the political resolution and strategic decision of the Workers’ Party of Korea, was successfully carried out.

“The ICBM Hwasong-15 type weaponry system is an intercontinental ballistic rocket tipped with super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the US.

“This system has much greater advantages in its tactical and technological specifications and technical characteristics than Hwasong-14 whose test-fire was conducted in July last.”

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