US B-1B bombers participate in joint drill in South Korea

A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers soar over Wyoming in an undated file

A pair of B-1B Lancer bombers soar over Wyoming in an undated file

"We hope that all relevant parties could exercise restraint and refrain from heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula and provoking each other". "The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?" it said in a statement. "The outbreak of war is not in any side's interest".

But amid North Korea's and the US's escalating rhetoric and military pressure, one option has emerged that's only slightly less desirable than all-out combat: perpetual brinkmanship.

Large military drills being carried out by the United States and South Korea, and U.S. threats of a preemptive war against Pyongyang have made the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula "an established fact", North Korea's foreign ministry said.

North Korea also claimed that "bellicose remarks" from high-ranking United States officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, make war inevitable.

North Korea launched its new Hwasong-15 missile a week ago, claiming to have achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state.

"Should the USA miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the USA dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened".

They entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) through the sky over the waters south of Jeju Island and conducted simulated bombing drills over the Yellow Sea near North Korea and China, according to the official.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered to help facilitate U.S.

The huge war games follow three intercontinental ballistic missile tests just days before.

This handout taken and released by the South Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul on December 6, 2017 shows a US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, two US F-35A and two US F-35B stealth jets flying over South Korea with South Korea's two F-16 and two F-15K fighter jets during a joint military drill. The Pentagon has mounted repeated shows of force after North Korean tests.

"B-1B bombers have been regularly dispatched to the Korean peninsula over the past years; however, it seems that the US Air Force might have enhanced its training to better prepare for actual warfare", he said. Their exercise was simulated to target key North Korean facilities including nuclear and missile sites.

The US-South Korea drills coincide with a rare visit to the North by United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea and the United States and says its weapons programmes are necessary to counter U.S. aggression. Feltman held talks with deputy foreign minister Pak Myong Gun on Wednesday.

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