Saturday, October 7, 2017

US bombers fly close to North Korea in show of force

US bombers escorted by fighter jets have flown close to North Korea's east coast, according to US officials, in a display of military strength after an escalating war of words between the two countries.

The Pentagon said Saturday's flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea that any US fighter jet or bomber has flown this century.

It said the operation over international waters showed the seriousness with which Washington took Pyongyang's "reckless behaviour", amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests.

"This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat," said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, calling North Korea's nuclear weapons programme "a grave threat".
WATCH: Insults fly as Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un continue war of words (1:51)

"We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies."

The B-1B Lancer bombers took off from Guam and the US Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts came from Okinawa, Japan.

The flight came after days of heightened rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang, with US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un trading insults.

Trump called Kim a "madman" on Friday, a day after the North Korean leader dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard" in retaliation for the US president saying Washington would "totally destroy" the Asian country if it threatened the US or its allies.

Later on Saturday, North Korea's foreign minister said Trump's remarks against Pyongyang and Kim will make the US mainland an "inevitable" target for rocket attacks.

"Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force," Ri Yong-ho said at the United Nations General Assembly, an annual gathering of world leaders at the body's headquarters in New York.

Scott Snyder, director of the programme on US-Korea policy of the Council on Foreign Relations, said Washington's latest move was aimed at putting further pressure on Pyongyang.
US bombers fly close to North Korea in show of force Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Minato Namikaze