14:48 GMT +312 December 2018
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    Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force Su-30 fighter, right, flies along with a H-6K bomber as they take part in a drill near the East China Sea (File)

    China May Be Preparing Military Aircraft for Potential Conflict With North Korea

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    China's Air Force brought land-attack, cruise-missile-capable bombers to full combat readiness in anticipation of the potential military actions against North Korea, the CNN broadcaster reported citing a US defense official.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the reports, cruise-missile-capable bombers were put "on high alert" on Wednesday while the United States had also noted an extraordinary number of Chinese military aircraft undergoing intensified maintenance.

    The official characterized the moves as China's effort to "reduce the time to react to a North Korea contingency," as quoted by the broadcaster.

    Media reported earlier on Thursday that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un warned the United States through the state media of a "super-mighty preemptive strike."

    Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen over the recent month in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions. North Korea reportedly carried out the most recent missile launch early on Sunday however it was unsuccessful according to South Korea's defense officials.

    In response to the tensions around North Korea, the United States sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group including two destroyers and a cruiser to the Korean Peninsula. On April 14, media reported that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea if Pyongyang decided to carry out another nuclear weapon test.

    On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged both the United States and North Korea to refrain from the potentially catastrophic conflict.

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    military conflict, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China
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