North Korea warns of nuclear war after US live-fire drills

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The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) has warned of imminent nuclear war following a US live-fire bombing run near its border on Friday, speedily implemented as a response to Pyongyang’s July 4 demonstration of what Washington believes to be its ability to strike the US mainland with an ICBM.

In a Sunday editorial in the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the DPRK accused Washington of engaging in “military provocations” designed to initiate nuclear conflict in the region.

“The Korean peninsula is the largest gunpowder area in the world with the highest risk of nuclear war, and is the largest hot spot in the world where there is always a risk of nuclear war,” reads the DPRK editorial.

“[Washington] is surely spreading into a new world war,” the Rodong Sinmun editorial asserted, adding that American military moves in the region were merely an attempt to distract from US President Donald Trump’s “serious crisis of power” on Capitol Hill.

Following Pyongyang’s launch of what it claimed to be its first ICBM, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting and the US deployed two B-18 strategic bombers to the region, carrying out live-fire bombing runs at a South Korean training range on Friday.

The B-18 bombing runs were escorted by US, South Korean and Japanese fighter jets.

 

Although Pyongyang has recently declared its intention to continue underground nuclear weapon test detonations, US intelligence agencies, monitoring satellite imagery of DPRK nuclear weapons testing facilities, said Sunday that between June 28 and July 5, “No significant new activity can be observed,” cited by Yonhap.

Pyongyang has detonated five underground nuclear bombs since the beginning of the 21st century: one each in 2006, 2009, and 2013; and two in 2016.

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