China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise

The U.S. Air Force's B-1B Lancer strategic bomber aircraft and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets conducted simulated bombing drills in South Korea on Wednesday, a show of the allies' ability and resolve to retaliate against North Korea's provocations, the defense authorities here said.

A USA supersonic B-1B bomber flies over Korea in formation with several other warplanes of the allies on December 6, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korea's Air Force.

The source would not say how numerous long-range supersonic bombers would participate in drills with South Korean fighter jets.

As the US and South Korean militaries worked together on the largest-ever version of their annual air-power exercise on the Korean Peninsula, China did something that suggests it would consider backing up North Korea in the event of war. The U.S. has confirmed that 6 B-1B bombers are stationed in Guam and the bombers typically fly in pairs.

North Korea hates the B-1 bomb runs, and have threatened to shoot the plane down.

The North's KCNA state news agency accused the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump of "begging for nuclear war" by moving forward with the joint exercise.

The drills come a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States, as part of a weapons programme that it has conducted in defiance of global sanctions and condemnation.

"The tension between the South and the North is at its peak, and so it is a very cautious situation as if we are walking on thin ice", Moon said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

South Korea is mulling employing the same drone techniques and strategies used by a similar unit in Israel's military, according to the unnamed military official.

The latest assertion of military might contrasts with a diplomatic effort unfolding on the Korean Peninsula this week, as United Nations envoy Jeffrey Feltman pays a rare visit to the increasingly isolated nation.

Vanessa Coleman