N. Korea says U.S. ‘begging’ for war

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said the U.S. is “begging” for a nuclear war by planning the “largest-ever” joint aerial drill with South Korea just after concluding an exercise with nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

“Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U.S., the U.S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,” North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U.S. Raptor stealth fighter planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named “Vigilant Ace” scheduled for today to Friday. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force, and the allies plan to stage simulated attacks on mock North Korean nuclear and missile targets, according to Yonhap.

North Korea’s comments mirror a statement KCNA made last month, saying Washington is seeking to ignite a nuclear war after U.S. B-1B nuclear strategic bombers stationed in Guam flew into South Korea to stage a drill.