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NUKEWARS
US send F-22 jets to SKorea in show of force; China bridge close temporarily
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Nov 24, 2017


China-N. Korea bridge to close temporarily
Beijing (AFP) Nov 24, 2017 - A bridge providing the main road link between China and North Korea is to be closed "temporarily" while workers on the North side carry out maintenance, Beijing announced Friday.

Some 70 percent of trade between the Asian neighbours is conducted in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, connected to North Korea by the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge.

"The bridge will be closed temporarily because the DPRK (North Korean) side needs to carry out some repair and maintenance work," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular news briefing on Friday.

The closure would take place within "days," Geng said, without specifying any timeframe for the work to be completed and the bridge re-opened.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner, but it has backed a series of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile activities, straining ties between the Cold War-era allies.

US President Donald Trump has urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to use his economic leverage to exert more pressure on the pariah state in the hopes it might abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

However, Beijing this week condemned as "wrong" fresh US sanctions that targeted North Korean shipping interests as well as Chinese companies that do business with the North.

The US will send F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to South Korea for a joint drill, reports said Friday, in a new show of force aimed at Pyongyang.

Six fighter jets, normally based in Okinawa, Japan, will be deployed to the South for a five-day joint military exercise, Vigilant Ace, starting December 4, local media reported.

A South Korean Air Force spokesman said an "unspecified number" of F-22s would take part in the drill.

A US Air Force spokesman declined to give details.

Local media reported that the US aircraft will engage in precision strike drills with South Korean Air Force fighter jets.

The move comes as the US pushes what President Donald Trump has called a "maximum pressure campaign" against the North's nuclear program.

Earlier this month, two B-1B US supersonic bombers overflew the Korean peninsula as part of a joint exercise with Japanese and South Korean warplanes.

This was followed by a joint naval drill involving three US aircraft carriers and seven South Korean warships in the first such triple-carrier exercise in the region for a decade.

North Korea in July launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles apparently capable of reaching the US mainland -- which were described by the country's leader Kim Jong-Un as a gift to "American bastards".

It followed up with two missiles that passed over Japan, and its sixth nuclear test in September -- by far its most powerful yet.

Trump on Monday declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, adding the country back onto a US blacklist Pyongyang was taken off nearly a decade ago.

The US also unveiled fresh sanctions that target North Korean shipping, raising the pressure on the Pyongyang in a bid to make it abandon its nuclear programme.

Trump said that the terror designation and new sanctions are part of a series of moves over the next two weeks to reinforce his "maximum pressure campaign" against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

Pyongyang condemned the listing as a "serious provocation" on Wednesday, warning that sanctions would never force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

China, the North's sole ally, also rejected as "wrong" new US sanctions, which target Chinese companies doing business with the pariah state.

Russia said Thursday that the US decision to add North Korea to its terror blacklist was a "PR move" that could allow the situation on the peninsula to escalate into a global "catastrophe".

NUKEWARS
Air China suspends flights to North Korea
Beijing (AFP) Nov 22, 2017
Air China has suspended flights to North Korea, further limiting the secretive state's links with the outside world, in what the government said was a business decision with no political motives. The suspension comes shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Beijing and pressed his counterpart Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea's nuclear program. China sent a special envo ... read more

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
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Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com


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