The United States and South Korea have begun massive war games off the Korean Peninsula. On Monday, the two nations opened Operation Vigilant Storm, a five-day joint drill involving hundreds of warplanes and thousands of troops. North Korea condemned the war games as “rehearsal for invasion and proof of hostile policies by Washington and Seoul.” This comes as the U.S. says North Korea is preparing to carry out its first nuclear weapons test since 2017.
Elsewhere in the Pacific region, China has slammed plans by the United States to deploy six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, warning the move threatens to spark a new arms race. This is China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian.
Zhao Lijian: “Such a move by the U.S. and Australia escalates regional tensions, gravely undermines regional peace and stability, and may trigger an arms race in the region. China urges parties concerned to abandon the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow geopolitical mindset.”