U.S. military exercises currently happening on the North Korean peninsula have drawn more threats of nuclear war.
ABC news reports that North Korea issued a “dire warning” on Monday as yet another joint U.S. South Korean military exercise got underway. The five-day annual joint exercise is called Vigilant Ace 18. The exercises are not new but they do come amidst high tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. These annual exercises usually draw criticism from North Korea. According to ABC News North Korean media said the Vigilant Ace 18 exercise is pushing the U.S. and North Korea “to the brink of nuclear war” which is a phrase the North Korean media often uses. According to a release from the U.S. Pacific Command or PACOMM, the week long exercise is comprised of 230 aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Republic of Korea Air Force personnel. U.S. F-22 Raptors, F-35 Lightning II’s, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-15 Eagles, F-18 Hornets and EA-18G Growlers are flying alongside ROK F-15K Slam Eagles and F-4 Phantom II’s. U.S. and R-O-K forces have been conducting these exercises for the last 9 years. U.S. PACOMM says the exercises serve “As one way the U.S. can reaffirm its commitment to stability in the Northeast Asia region and highlight its longstanding military partnership and enduring friendship with the ROK.”