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BEIJING — A state-run newspaper in a Chinese city near the border with North Korea on Wednesday published a page of "common sense" advice on how readers can protect themselves from a nuclear attack or explosion.
China has voiced grave concern over North Korea's nuclear and missiles programme, as well as calling on the United States and South Korea to stop provoking Pyongyang.
An American B-1B supersonic bomber flew over South Korea on Wednesday as part of a large-scale joint military drills with Seoul. Kim Jong Un's regime has warned the drills would push the Korean Peninsula to the "brink of war."
The full-page article in the Jilin Daily explains how nuclear weapons differ from traditional arms and instructs people how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.
Nuclear weapons have five means of causing destruction: light radiation, blast waves, early-stage nuclear radiation, nuclear electro-magnetic pulses and radioactive pollution, the article explained.
People who find themselves outside during a nuclear attack should try to lie in a ditch, cover exposed skin in light-coloured clothing or dive into a river or lake to try and minimize the possibility of instantaneous death, it added.
Cartoon illustrations of ways to dispel radioactive contamination were also provided, such as using water to wash off shoes and using cotton buds to clean ears, as well as a picture of a vomiting child to show how medical help can be sought to speed the expulsion of radiation through stomach pumping and induced urination.
The influential state-backed Global Times in a commentary on Wednesday described the article as a public service announcement due to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
"If war breaks out, it is not possible to rule out the Korean Peninsula producing nuclear contaminants, and countermeasures must be seriously researched and spoken openly about to let the common folk know. But at the same time, there is absolutely no reason to be alarmed," the Global Times said.
North Korea last week tested what it called its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korea's military says the Hwasong-15 has the potential to strike targets as far away as 8,100 miles, which would put Washington within reach.
The North also conducted its most powerful nuclear test in September which it described as a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon designed for ICBMs.
Wednesday's aerial exercise was a clear warning to North Korea.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Guam-based bomber simulated land strikes at a military field near South Korea's eastern coast during a drill with U.S. and South Korean fighter jets.
"Through the drill, the South Korean and U.S. air forces displayed the allies' strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles," the military said in a statement.
B-1Bs flyovers have become an increasingly familiar show of force to North Korea, which after three intercontinental ballistic missile tests has clearly moved closer toward building a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the U.S. mainland.
The five-day drills that began Monday involve more than 200 aircraft, including six U.S. F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighters.