China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise

China, Russia Stage Drills to Counter S.Korea-US Exercise

CGTN's Jack Barton reports from Pyeongtaek. The exercises involve 230 warplanes and at least 12,000 military personnel. That led to events such as the Able Archer incident in 1983 where the Kremlin mistook a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation exercise as preparations to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union-the closest Washington and Moscow ever came to World War III.

On Monday, the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew exercises in "routes and areas it has never flown before" over both the Yellow Sea that divides China and the Korean Peninsula as well as the East China Sea between China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

There's good reason why Pyongyang would not like these aircraft slipping under its radar.

Some analysts and diplomats hope Feltman's visit to the North could spark a United Nations -led effort to defuse rising global tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

The Chinese air force launched an exercise of their own concurrent to the enormous air drills being run by the US and South Korea, causing experts to speculate what, exactly, Beijing is trying to communicate to the West.

The annual joint exercise, called "Vigilant Ace", has been created to enhance readiness and operational capability and to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula, officials have said. The exercise gives aircrews and air support operations personnel from various airframes, military services and our Republic of Korea partners an opportunity to integrate and practice combat operations against realistic air and ground threats. On Wednesday, a B-1B bomber was joined by F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters for what South Korea's joint chiefs of staff referred to as simulated strikes at a military field.

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North Korea regularly uses its state media to threaten the United States and its allies. The aircraft arrived to Gwangju to participate in Vigilant Ace-18, a routine exercise on interoperability.

U.S. Forces in Japan may be preparing future provocations with navy patrols.

The Chinese spokesman did not provide details on dates, but the announcement came the same day Washington and Seoul launched their biggest joint air force exercise.

During the Korean War that began in 1950 and is still technically ongoing, China came to the aid of the communist Northern Korean factions against the United States and their Southern allies, repaying the fledgling North's contribution to their own civil war, which the Chinese Communist Party had only won the previous year with Korean communist help.

The U.S. and China have a rocky history, but are far from going to blows.

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