Pentagon has no plans to evacuate USA dependents from South Korea

Pentagon has no plans to evacuate USA dependents from South Korea

Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke said Monday the exercises involved aircraft traveling along "routes and areas it has never flown before", the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.

Pyongyang is keeping close watch on a show-of-force to its south. Hundreds of military aircraft from the US and Republic of Korea have taken to the skies as a warning against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The massive week-long simulated air warfare exercise will include no less than a total of 230 aircraft including six stealthy top-of-the-line Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighters and six-possibly as many as 18-Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Aircraft taking part will be flown from eight USA and South Korean military installations.

North Korea has vehemently criticised the drills since the weekend, saying the exercise precipitates US and South Korean "self-destruction".

Though Chinese military officials will likely claim that the new drills are not in direct response to US and South Korean actions, military experts agree that this show of force warns against the continued provocation of North Korea.

The North has warned the drills would push the Korean peninsula to "the brink of nuclear war".

Two dozen USA stealth fighter jets took part in the drills, six of them F-22s, six of them F-35As, as well as a dozen F-35Bs, marking the first time the highly-advanced jets have cruised the skies above Korea at the same time.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that his country and its isolated northern neighbor were "on thin ice", but that he was optimistic of a peaceful solution to the nuclear and missile crisis. The exercise provides realistic air combat training for the United States and Republic of Korea, testing and refining the readiness and interoperability of US-ROK forces to deter aggression and provide a rapid response to attack.

The drills come a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile ever in defiance of global sanctions and condemnation.

Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official, is the highest-level United Nations official to visit North Korea since 2012.

The U.S. and China have a rocky history, but are far from going to blows.

"We now have no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea", a spokesman for the Pacific Command, Navy Lt. Cmdr.

Aircraft taking part will be flown from eight USA and South Korean military installations.

Russia also has communication channels open with North Korea and is ready to exert its influence, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as saying on Tuesday.

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