Japan Orders Military To ‘State Of Alert’ As North Korea Accuses US Of Seeking ‘Preemptive Nuclear Strike’

Just days after North Korea has accused Washington of planning a preemptive nuclear strike – following the US announcement that it would deploy its B-1 bomber in the Pacific for the first time in a decade – Japan’s increasingly militarist tone just ratcheted up to ’11’ as defense ministry officials have ordered its military to be ready at any time to shoot down any North Korean missiles that threaten to strike Japan, putting its forces on a state of alert for at least three months.

Pyongyang has repeatedly warned it may carry out preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korean and U.S. targets.

The secretive state, led by supreme leader Kim Jong-un, warned Saturday it would respond to any aggression by reducing the U.S. to a “sea of flames”.

“The ever-mounting moves of the U.S. imperialists to ignite a nuclear war are pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula into the uncontrollable and catastrophic phase,” said the North Korean statement.

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Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After discovering China-made components in the F-35 fighter jet, a Pentagon investigation has uncovered Chinese materials in other major U.S. weaponry, including Boeing Co’s B-1B bomber and certain Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters, the U.S. Defense Department said.

Titanium mined in China may also have been used to build part of a new Standard Missile-3 IIA being developed jointly by Raytheon Co and Japan, said a senior U.S. defense official, who said the incidents raised fresh concerns about lax controls by U.S. contractors.

U.S. law bans weapons makers from using raw materials from China and a number of other countries, amid concerns that reliance on foreign suppliers could leave the U.S. military vulnerable in some future conflict. Continue reading