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Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Hawaii introduces nuclear air raid drills as tensions with North Korea escalate

Hawaii introduces nuclear air raid drills as tensions with North Korea escalate

That missile puts most of the USA within range.

Relations between Seoul and Beijing have been damaged by the ongoing North Korea crisis, particularly after the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) defense system, which became fully operational in September.

Thirteen of them, including Angola, Cuba, Mozambique, Tanzania, Iran, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Syria, have been linked with North Korea's military.

Military observers, in fact, took notice recently when parasites were discovered in the stomach of a North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea, suggesting even front-line troops are enduring awful conditions as they operate near the DMZ.

It was part of the annual Vigilant ACE air force practice, which started Monday for a five-day run.

"The United States and Europe in particular should press every country engaged in military or sanctioned trade with North Korea to stop any such activities and deploy their own sanctions. against those that fail to do so", it added.

Ambassador Terry Branstad told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday that if North Korea announces that it will not conduct any more nuclear tests or launch any more missiles, he believes there's an opportunity for the U.S.to get back to the negotiating table.

But with the United States using its best planes to message North Korea, and Pyongyang demonstrating missiles that experts assess can hit anywhere in the USA, it's unclear just how much higher tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate. "Not a single person has made that call to us on the North Korea situation yet". The State Department said on Tuesday he was not carrying any message from Washington.

North Korea has warned that the Vigilant Ace exercises are a provocation which would "only invite more awful retaliation and precipitate their self-destruction".

Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said continued North Korean nuclear and missile testing had been pushing South Korea and the U.S. closer together, undermining efforts by China to improve relations and increase its influence in the region ahead of the THAAD deployment. North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile capability would top the agenda, it said. China is North Korea's lone major ally and fears widespread instability on its border. The drills involve 230 aircraft and 12,000 American troops, in what North Korea has dubbed the largest-ever joint aerial exercise.

It says its weapons programs are a necessary defense against US plans to invade.

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