U.S. bombing exercise draws response from N. Korea

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After North Korea’s Tuesday test of a mid-range ballistic missile with nuclear capabilities – its first fired over Japan – the United States and South Korea staged a terrifying show of force on Thursday. North Korea now says it will execute South Korean reporters.

The Thursday display included four US F-35B fighter jets, two US B-1B bombers and four South Korean F-15 fighter jets. The joint US-South Korea flyover of the Korean Peninsula was a bombing-attack simulation of a surgical strike on key enemy facilities. The display was conducted over the Pilseung Range, in an eastern province that neighbors North Korea.

North Korea has frequently test-fired missiles this year, ignoring demands to halt their nuclear ambitions. Experts say they are refining their missile technology and may be dangerous already.

While the U.S. has conducted bomber flights in response to North Korean actions before, dropping bombs is reported as being an “escalation” by the US.  President Donald Trump stated in a tweet: “The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!”

According to reports, North Korea state media has said the nation “can never stop bolstering up the nuclear deterrent” and that “no one can guess when a nuclear war may break out.”

“The USA’s more persistent moves to launch a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula would precipitate its final doom,” the media outlet reportedly said.

Meanwhile, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has vowed to fire more missiles. Last night, pictures of Kim were released by state media, showing the leader watching Tuesday morning’s missile launch and inspecting his nuclear arsenal, including more than 20 pictures of the launch near Pyongyang.

Of the Tuesday launch, state media in North Korea said the weapons testing over the Pacific will advance their ability to contain Guam. They quote Kim as saying: “The current ballistic rocket launching drill like a real war is the first step of the military operation of the Korean People’s Army in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam.”

According to The Sun, North Korea vowed on Thursday to execute reporters from two South Korean newspapers. They allege that the reporters “insulted the country’s dignity while reviewing and interviewing the British authors of a book about life in the isolated country.”

According to The Sun:

“[Korean Central News Agency] carried a state court statement expressing anger over the descriptions of North Korean lives as increasingly capitalist.

It also objected to the translated title of the South Korean edition as ‘Capitalist People’s Republic of Korea’ and the book’s cover that replaced the red star in North Korea’s official seal with the US dollar mark.”

According to reports, North Korea’s Central Court has vowed to “track down to the end and cut off the dirty windpipes” of those responsible for such provocations, including the presidents of the newspapers who have been sentenced to death.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry call the threats “absurd” and said it “sternly warns” North Korea to stop threatening South Korean citizens.

In a statement, the ministry said the government is ready to take “every measure needed” to protect its citizens.

Below are images from Twitter of North Korea’s Tuesday missile launch over Japan.

Included here are images of Thursday’s U.S.-South Korea bombing exercise.

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