North Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable, China urges calm

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

The Lancer bombers trained with more than 20 of the allies' fighter jets as part of their annual Vigilant ACE air force practice.

The combined B-1 and F-22 drill represents a step up in the normal tit-for-tat between the U.S. and North Korea. But China has been vocal in its criticism of North Korea's nuclear and missiles programme, as well as attacking the US and South Korea for ratcheting up tensions.

In an editorial response to the survival guide in the Jilin Daily, The Global Times said: "If war breaks out, it is not possible to rule out the Korean peninsula producing nuclear contaminants, and countermeasures must be seriously researched and spoken openly about to let the common folk know".

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on a TV screen in Seoul, South Korea.

"I can say that (Moon and Xi) have come to a point where they share an understanding that it is perhaps the most realistic way", Lee said during the conference organized to mark late former President Kim Dae-jung's winning of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize.

Essentially, despite the deep differences bitter tensions, the USA and North Korea have deterred each other from attacking - much like the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

But with the U.S. using its best planes to message North Korea, and Pyongyang demonstrating missiles that experts assess can hit anywhere in the USA, it's unclear just how much higher tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate.

US national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the weekend the possibility of war was "increasing every day".

Underscoring the tensions, Senator Lindsey Graham of SC urged the Pentagon on Sunday to move dependents of American service members out of South Korea because of the threat of conflict. The United States stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

On Wednesday, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, raised doubts about USA participation in the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in February, telling Fox News that Washington was concerned about its citizens.

China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zheng Zeguang was to meet Matt Pottinger, the head of Asian affairs at the White House's National Security Council, on Thursday to discuss North Korea and trade, a senior United States official said.