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United States bombers conduct military drills over Korean peninsula

United States bombers conduct military drills over Korean peninsula

US Air Force B-1 bombers carried out mock missile launches off both coasts of South Korea Tuesday night in the latest show of force against North Korea, South Korean military officials said.

North Korea is widely expected to conduct another provocation this month, possibly around the Oct 18 opening of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Pyongyang conducted its fifth nuclear test on the anniversary of the founding day of North Korea previous year.

Such operations have been happening with increasing frequency over the past several months, as have North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

North Korea will "shower fire" on the United States in response to the threats by its President Donald Trump, the regime's Foreign Minister has said.

The South Korean Unification Ministry could not confirm that the complex has been reopened, but did say that recent bus movements and illuminated street lamps in the site have been observed.

The US military statement said the exercise "demonstrates how USA military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the USA stands resolutely with Japan and the ROK to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments".

Australia's foreign and defense ministers visited the heavily fortified inter-Korean border Thursday and emphasized the need to inflict "maximum diplomatic pressure" to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambition.

Among the leaked documents was Operational Plans 5015 for use in case of war with the North and including procedures for "decapitation" attacks on leader Kim Jong-Un, the paper quoted Rhee as saying.

The minister also lashed out at a tough new package of United Nations sanctions brought in last month.

"The U.S. continues to kick up the racket of frantic nuclear war drills even though the situation on the Korean peninsula is on the verge of the outbreak of a worldwide thermonuclear war", the commentary read.

It remains unclear whether North Korea is holding official celebrations for the party anniversary or if its leader Kim Jong-Un is making any public appearances for the occasion.

Fears the crisis could spiral into open conflict have risen as the communist state demonstrated rapid progress in its efforts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could target the USA mainland despite several rounds of punishing United Nations and other global sanctions against it.

China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, has consistently argued sanctions alone will not work, urging Washington and Pyongyang to lower their rhetoric and return to the negotiating table. It is also unclear as to whether the hackers' activities point to a specific and/or known North Korean hacker group's involvement.


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