South Korea's Moon to visit China amid North Korea tensions

China conducts aerial drills over West Sea and East China Sea

US bombers to fly over Korean peninsula: report

The North Korean Army's test firing of the Hwasong-15, its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to date has put the regime closer to striking the USA with nuclear weapons.

A spokesman for the North's foreign ministry also blamed "confrontational warmongering" remarks by US officials for pushing the peninsula to the brink of war. "We feel that it's highly, highly unlikely that something like that would happen", said HTA CEO George Szigeti.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In will visit China next week for talks on North Korea and other issues, his office said Wednesday, amid tentative signs of diplomatic movement after months of high tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile threats.

North Korea, which denounces such drills, said at the weekend that the recent war game pushed tensions on the peninsula toward "a flare-up".

It also labeled Trump, who has threatened to destroy North Korea if the United States is threatened, "insane".

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Seoul and Washington say the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is intended exclusively to counter missile threats from North Korea but Beijing sees it as a threat to its own military capabilities.

United Nations undersecretary-General Jeffrey Feltman is scheduled to meet senior officials including Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Vice Minister Pak Myong-guk as well as United Nations staff working in the hermit state, reports the Korea Times. The Chinese Air Force said it will conduct high-sea exercises under combat conditions on a regular basis, as it aims to improve readiness and safeguard the country's "strategic interests". This exercise clearly seems to have been a response to the ongoing US-South Korean Vigilant Ace-18 joint aerial drills.

Song Tao's visit was the first by a Chinese official to North Korea in 2017, but there's been no mention of any meeting between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

All but five of the 49 countries have violated sanctions in other ways, such as facilitating front companies for the North Korean regime or importing sanctioned goods and minerals. China is North Korea's lone major ally and fears widespread instability on its border.

The US responded to North Korea's latest missile launch with a simulated bomb run from a B-1B Lancer bomber and an F-22 in a marked escalation in military signaling. The Pentagon said it has no plans to do so.

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