USA flies bombers, fighters in show of force against N. Korea

China warns tensions on Korean Peninsula at ‘tipping point’ after Pyongyang missile launch

On Tuesday, North Korea provoked worldwide alarm after it fired a mid-range missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. So small wonder that South Korean citizens - and foreigners staying for a long time alike - remained calm and unperturbed by one of its most menacing missile provocations Tuesday.

The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, the 11-day joint military exercises the United States and South Korea completed Thursday, involved tens of thousands of USA and South Korean troops, although the exercises were conducted largely through computer simulations.

Kim said that he would watch the United States' actions before deciding whether to conduct more missile tests, including in waters around Guam, a USA territory that is home to Andersen Air Force Base, from which the B-1B Lancer bombers participating in the drills on Thursday took off.

The exercise was created to "strongly counter North Korea's repeated ballistic missile tests and development of nuclear weapons", the official said.

"We have a common goal - denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, so that neither the North nor the South, the US and us [Russia] have nuclear weapons", Lavrov said.

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"There were times when even a short-range ballistic missile launch drew a heated response and sanctions from the global community, but the world didn't do anything about North Korea's short-range ballistic missile launches on Saturday" ahead of Tuesday's longer launch, said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

Mattis said the firing of North Korean ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan, was reckless.

The UN Security Council denounced Pyongyang's latest missile test, unanimously demanding a halt to its programme.

His recent granting of a pardon to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, facing sentencing for violating the rights of suspected illegal immigrants, shows the president has little regard for the US democratic system, including the rule of law.

If the United States and its allies were to cut oil shipments to North Korea, it would add to a growing list of embargoes and sanctions that Trump has negotiated following renewed threats and hostile actions from Kim.

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"North Korea must find the path to negotiations". North Korea stated the drills were a rehearsal for invasion.

Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Ren Guoqiang told reporters that all parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that escalate tension.

The situation, Le Drian said, is "extremely serious".

"The current situation on the Korean peninsula is not a screenplay, it's not a computer game".

The United States often sends its warplanes to South Korea, mostly for patrols, when animosity rises on the Korean Peninsula, which is technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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