US-South Korea air exercise, Pyongyang calling it an “all-out provocation” that could lead to nuclear conflict as a US lawmaker warned of a growing likelihood of “preemptive war” on the divided peninsula.
The five-day Vigilant Ace drill, involving some 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters, begins Monday, five days after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of hitting the US mainland in a new challenge to President Donald Trump.
The North’s ruling party Rodong newspaper slammed the upcoming drill.
“It is an open, all-out provocation against the DPRK, which may lead to a nuclear war any moment,” it said in an editorial Sunday, using the North’s official name.
“The US and South Korean puppet warmongers would be well advised to bear in mind that their DPRK-targeted military drill will be as foolish as an act precipitating their self-destruction,” it said.
The commentary was published a day after Pyongyang’s foreign ministry accused the Trump administration of “begging for nuclear war” by staging what it called the reckless air drills.