The U.S. and South Korea scrambled fighter jets in a show of force to Kim Jong Un and vowed a tough response to further provocations, hours ahead of the deadline North Korea set for a military action.

Four U.S. F-16s and four South Korean F-15Ks teamed up for a combat drill Saturday, while the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairmen of the two countries agreed in a phone call to respond “strongly” to any North Korean attack, Col. Jeon Ha Kyu, a spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said by phone.

The U.S. is “steadfast” in its commitment to South Korea and together will continue their joint annual military exercises until Aug. 28 to heighten readiness, Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear told reporters Friday in Washington. Earlier, there was a brief suspension of the exercises, which began Monday.

 South Korean President Park Geun Hye’s government on Friday refused to heed Kim’s demands on Thursday to stop broadcasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts across the border by 5 p.m. local time or face dire consequences. Kim’s troops deployed “multiple rocket launchers” and “entered into a wartime state” after trading fire with the South Thursday, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

“Will there be escalation? Possibly,” Patrick Cronin, senior adviser for the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said in an e-mail. “If that happens, then one simply does not know what happens next. Even a ‘limited’ exchange could create a serious war-footing in both Koreas and alter the regional agenda.”

Plunging Stocks

This week’s confrontation is one of the most serious since Kim rose to power in 2011, sending South Korean stocks to a two-year low. The won retreated 0.8 percent Friday as China expressed concern, urging both sides to avoid escalation.

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Evangelist Dina Amelia Kalmeta is the Founder and CEO of Your New Life in Christ Ministries - CWW7NEWS. Evangelist Dina reports on world events as they pertain to Bible Prophecy. Before Your New Life in Christ Ministries, Evangelist Dina served as a Leader for INCHRIST NETWORK leading teams online and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her mission today is to bring hard evidence that what is taking place in the world isn't just coincidence, but indeed proof that the last days the Bible warned us about are upon us right now.