North Korea Threatens Nuclear War Over Joint US-South Korea Military Exercise

North Korea threw the equivalent of an editorial temper tantrum on Sunday, threatening nuclear war with the United States, in response to a graphic reminder by American fighter pilots the day before that U.S. Air Forces are a might to be reckoned with.

Two B-1 bombers, each of which can carry 84 of the 500-pound bombs, delivered a crystal-clear warning to Pyongyang in response to the nation’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile test — clearly aimed at threatening the United States — with a precision bombing run, using inert weapons.

The bombers flew out of Anderson Air Force Base in Guam on a 10-hour mission to drop their weapons over the Pilsung Range. (The Pil Sung (“Sure Victory”) Range is located in the center of the Republic of Korea, jointly operated by the U.S. Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force, about five hours from Seoul.) The American forces were joined by those of South Korea, and later also those of Japan.

In a statement, the Air Force called the mission a “demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies.” Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence O’Shaughnessy told reporters, “North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland.

“Let me be clear. If called upon, we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces.”

North Korea responded to the military exercise with predictable outrage, accusing Washington of carrying out a “dangerous military provocation” in an editorial published Sunday in the state-run Rodong newspaper.

“The U.S., with its dangerous military provocation, is pushing the risk of a nuclear war on the peninsula to a tipping point,” the editorial said, calling the region the “world’s biggest tinderbox.”

The article added, “A small misjudgment or error can immediately lead to the beginning of a nuclear war, which will inevitably lead to another world war.”

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