The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea blamed US officials for the drills and "confrontational warmongering" for making the war inevitable.
ARCHIVE: Rocket fire by Korean People's Army (KPA) personnel during an attack drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Photo: AFP
SEOUL – Two US heavy bombers B-1B joined large-scale combat exercises on South Korea on Thursday amid North Korean warnings that US exercises and threats have made that the outbreak of war "is an established fact". 19659004] The annual "Vigilant Ace" exercises of the USA. UU And South Korea has 230 aircraft, including some of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the US. And they arrive a week after North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to date. It can reach all of the United States.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea blamed the drills and "confrontational warmongering" by US officials for making the war inevitable.
"The remaining question is: when will the war break out?" he said in a statement. "We do not want a war, but we should not hide from it."
China, North Korea's neighbor and only important ally, urged calm again and said the war was not the answer, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said North Korea wanted direct talks with the United States to seek guarantees about its security, something that Moscow was willing to facilitate.
"We hope that all relevant parties can remain calm and restrained and take measures to relieve tensions and not provoke each other," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
"The outbreak of war is not in the interest of any side, ordinary people will suffer the most".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a conference in Vienna that US military exercises and aggressive rhetoric were causing an unacceptable escalation of tension.
Lavrov said that he had moved on to Tillerson Pyongyang's desire to hold direct talks.
"We know that North Korea wants primarily to talk to the United States about security guarantees, we are ready to support that, we are ready to participate in facilitating such negotiations," Lavrov said, quoting Lavrov
. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said direct talks with North Korea "were not on the table until they were ready to denuclearize themselves."
"It's something Russia says it is about. agreement, it is something that China has said it agrees with, and many other nations around the world too, "he said at a regular press conference.
Nauert said that North Korea "showed no interest in sitting down and having any kind of serious conversation" when they continue firing ballistic missiles. "
Another State Department spokesman, Justin Higgins, said that it was not enough for North Korea to freeze its nuclear program, and that" you must be prepared to sit at the table ready to map a course for it. " leave and undo & # 39; & # 39; That program.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang would meet Thursday with Matt Pottinger, head of Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council, to discuss North Korea and trade, said a senior US official. [19659004TheextensionshaveincreasedinthelastfewmonthsinthedevelopmentofNorthKoreachallengingtherepeatedoccurrencesoftheUNUofmissilesofthenuclearpoweroftheUnitedStates
Last week's missile test triggered a US warning that North Korea will be "completely destroyed" if the war breaks out. The Pentagon mounted repeated shows of strength after the North Korean tests.
In September, after the sixth and largest nuclear test in North Korea, B-1B flew further north along the North Korean coast than in any other country. moment in the last 17 years. The departure prompted Pyongyang's foreign minister to warn that US bombers could be shot down even if they did not enter North Korean airspace.
Yang Uk, a member of the Korea Defense and Security Forum, said the B-1B would be the key to any attack aimed at the main facilities in North Korea.
"The B-1B bombers have been dispatched regularly to the Korean peninsula in recent years, but it seems that the United States Air Force could have improved its training to better prepare itself for the real war," he said. .
Both parties insist that they do not want the war, while saying that they will act to defend themselves.
United States National Security Adviser HR McMaster said over the weekend that the possibility of a war "increases every day." He said Trump was prepared to take action against North Korea, but was working to convince China, Russia and others to pressure Pyongyang to give up its weapons programs.
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday urged the Pentagon to withdraw the US military from South Korea, saying the conflict with North Korea was approaching.
The Pentagon said it has "no intention of" removing any dependents.
On Wednesday, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, raised doubts about US participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, telling Fox News that Washingto was concerned about its citizens .
However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Thursday that the United States hoped to participate in the games and was committed to South Korea and other nations to secure the venues.
North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea and the United States and says that its weapons programs are necessary to counteract US aggression. The United States has 28,500 troops in the south, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Growing tensions coincide with a visit to North Korea by UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, the highest-level UN official in North Korea since 2012.
Some analysts and diplomats hope that their visit could unleash an effort led by the UN to calm tensions. Feltman met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Thursday, the official KCNA news agency in North Korea said.