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The drills have been carried out in three-day to five-day intervals when power and water supplies were suspended as part of the exercises.

Chinese citizens living in border cities in China also reported hearing air-raid sirens as part of the exercises, officials said.

U.S. officials say China’s main fear for its fraternal communist client regime in North Korea is a collapse of order that leads to large-scale refugee flows into China.

Reports from inside North Korea also revealed that North Korean soldiers have been issued bread, instant noodles, sausages, milk, and dried fish that appeared to be supplied by the United Nations as aid meant for the civilian population.

The Feb. 12 underground blast, North Korea’s third, is credited by analysts with setting off the latest round of belligerence by the Pyongyang regime.

After the test, the U.S. government continued to refuse to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear-armed state.

That prompted the regime of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to issue unprecedented threats to fire nuclear missiles at the United States.

The Pentagon responded by using annual military exercises with South Korea to fly B-52 strategic bombers and later B-2s near North Korea.

Frontline F-22 fighter-bombers, the Air Force’s most advanced jets, were sent on Sunday to take part in the military drills.

North Korea’s latest threats included announcing a state of war and cutting off military and other communications.

North Korea’s ruling communist Korean Workers Party announced on Sunday that the nuclear arsenal is the “nation’s life” and would not be given up even if offered “billions of dollars,” the Associated Press reports.

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