North Korea: US 'begging' for war with 'largest ever' joint aerial drill

US South Korea launch large-scale air drills amid spiraling nuclear tension

White House national security adviser HR McMaster said Saturday that North Korea represents "the greatest immediate threat to the United States" and that the potential for war with the communist nation is growing each day.

A 2.5-magnitude natural disaster has been detected in North Korea near where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, Seoul's weather agency said.

"More than 230 fighters from the US air force bases in Japan and South Korea including its latest stealth fighters F-22 Raptor and F-35, the USA major strategic assets as well as some 12,000 US troops are to participate in the said drill", said the spokesman.

North Korea held mass celebrations for its latest successful long-range missile test, Pyongyang's state media said Saturday, with the regimen accusing Washington of "begging for nuclear war" over planned military drills, AFP reports.

South Korea and the United States seek to pressurize North Korea to return to the negotiating table to abandon its nuclear programme.

Since fleeing the isolated empire in 2010, she said she has suffered chronic pain as a result of living near North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site.

Last week, North Korea shattered 2½ months of relative quiet by firing off an intercontinental ballistic missile that some observers say showed the reclusive country's ability to strike the U.S. East Coast. They will be joined by more F-35bs - the Marine Corps version, based in Japan - B-1 bombers and E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that will fly in to join the wargames and then return to bases elsewhere, the official said.

South Korea US kick off air drills
South Korea US kick off air drills

Graham said this development showed conflict is approaching.

A USA official said Saturday technical analysis of that missile's flight is ongoing but the "the North Koreans had problems with re-entry".

About 28,500 USA troops are stationed in South Korea to deter potential aggression from the North.

"The stealth fighters which the enemies boast so much of will not escape the fate of a tiger moth", the North Korean commentary said.

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"However, the quake could have been caused by geological changes created from the recent nuclear explosion", said an agency official who asked not to be named.

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