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China urges calm as N.Korea rattles sabres

08 December 2017

"We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

North Korea says war is now inevitable between Washington and Pyongyang.

But even though both sides make overtures toward war, it's far from a sure thing.

Graham told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday that a preemptive war against the North was "becoming more likely" as its weapons technology "matures".

On Thursday, North Korea asked a startling question: "When will the war break out?"

An article in North Korea's ruling party's mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday accused the USA of trying to provoke a second Korean war and planning a pre-emptive strike. North Korea's increasing nuclear and missile capability would top the agenda, it said.

The article notably said President Donald Trump is "running wild", "insane" and "bluffing" when condemning inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.

'We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the USA miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the U.S. dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened'.

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"The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK who have upheld the WPK's line on the simultaneous development of the two fronts with loyalty", North Korea said in a statement, "without the slightest vacillation, despite the vicious challenges by the US imperialists and their followers and manifold difficulties".

Kim with North Korean troops.

B-1 flights represent the US's go-to response for North Korean provocations like missile tests, and the bomber flights always draw a strong, sometimes dangerously escalating response from Pyongyang.

Yang Uk, a senior fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum, said B-1Bs would be key to any strike targeting major North Korean facilities.

USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the weekend the possibility of war was "increasing every day".

On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, raised doubts about USA participation in the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in February, telling Fox News that Washington was concerned about its citizens.

"Through the drill, the South Korean and United States air forces displayed the allies' strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles", the South Korean military said in a statement.

China urges calm as N.Korea rattles sabres