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Pentagon has no plans to evacuate U.S. dependents from South Korea

08 December 2017

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

Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke said Monday the exercises involved aircraft traveling along "routes and areas it has never flown before", the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.

The rare two consecutive days of virtual bombing drills on the Korean peninsula come on the fourth day of the Vigilant Ace 18 exercise, in which 230 aircraft, including F-16 Fighting Falcons and EA-18G Growlers, have been mobilized for a five-day air combat exercise which runs until Friday.

"We now have no intent to initiate departures for military dependents, whether on a voluntary or mandatory basis, and no intent to modify the policy authorizing military dependents to accompany military members being stationed in South Korea", a spokesman for the Pacific Command, Navy Lt. Cmdr.

But while Beijing is openly opposed to the North Korean nuclear program, they are certainly not in favor of the USA invading North Korea, putting an end to the Kim government, and either reunifying North Korea with the US-friendly South or installing a US-friendly regime in North Korea.

US stealth fighter jets were not mobilized in Thursday's exercise, the military said, which saw the two strategic bombers enter the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ), fly to Jeju island and up the west coast, before returning to Andersen Air Force Base.

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"My biggest expectation for the Wing is to remove any "exercise" mindset from the equation and maximize the realism of every response".

The U.S. Air Force has said the size of this year's drill is "comparable" to previous years. Dave Benham, told the military news outlet.

North Korea's state media confirmed the arrival of Feltman and his entourage late on Tuesday without offering more details.

The Trump Administration does not seem to consider the North Korean dictator to be a rational actor, and therefore, seems to believe he can not be deterred. "Its intentions are to use that weapon for nuclear blackmail, and then, to, quote, you know, "reunify" the peninsula under the red banner".

The war planes are participating in the annual military exercise known as Vigilant Ace, but the Air Force said flying operations weren't disrupted by the move. During the Cold War, Soviet doctrine-which North Korean doctrine is based on-called for snap exercises to provide cover for mobilization efforts to go to war.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for the National Interest.

Pentagon has no plans to evacuate U.S. dependents from South Korea