Pyongyang: US, South Korean Military Drills Pushing Peninsula 'Into Nuclear War'

Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon

On Sunday an editorial in North Korea's official government newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun said the exercises would worsen the state of the peninsula and warned of an "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war".

It described North Korea as the "strongest possessor" of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States mainland from anywhere, CNN reported.

It added: "Reckless and wild acts of the U.S. can accelerate its final ruin".

The escalating war of words, coupled with North Korea's rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, has fuelled a surge in tension.

The situation has added to pressure on the US and South Korea to stop the military drills. The situation has been calmer in the recent days, with Pyongyang facing sanctions from their biggest ally, China.

"It will be interesting to see how high profile these exercises get", said Mr James Schoff, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford in Seoul.

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Both involve land, sea and air military drills and computer simulations.

South Korea usually deploys about 50,000 troops while the United States sends 25,000 to 30,000 soldiers. -South Korean computer-simulated defensive exercise set to kick off tomorrow is meant to strengthen joint efforts for the defense of South Korea, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today. Many of them will be joining thousands of South Korean forces in the exercises.

North Korea has long denounced the drills as a war rehearsal for a northern invasion, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Last week the North's state-run media outlet warned that the drill in the Korean Peninsula would "further drive the situation on the Korean Peninsula into catastrophe".

Other allies will join the exercises this year, including soldiers from Australia, the UK, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

The United States and South Korea originally planned to deploy two USA aircraft carriers, a nuclear-powered submarine and a strategic bomber to the peninsula.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, which will run through August 31, will be the first large-scale military exercise between the allies since North Korea successfully flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and threatened to bracket Guam with intermediate range ballistic missile fire earlier this month.

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