In response to North Korea’s recent missile tests, the US deployed supersonic fighter jets and bombers.
According to South Korea’s joint chiefss of staff, the B-1B bombers participated in joint aerial drills with other South Korean warplanes and US warplanes on Saturday.
According to the US, the drills showed an “iron-clad”, US commitment to South Korea’s security and that of the allies’ combined defense posture.
North Korea was widely condemned by the international community on Friday, after it tested-launched an intercontinental missile (ICBM) capable to carry multiple nuclear warheads with a range that could reach any part of the US mainland.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un viewed the test together with his daughter – the first time she was seen in public – and boasted that the ICBM was a “reliable” and “maximum-capacity weapon to counter US military threats.
Photo from state media showed Kim walking hand in hand with the girl and watching as a large missile was loaded onto a launch vehicle.
Friday’s launch was part the North’s continuing barrage of missile testing that are seen to be an attempt at expanding its arsenal.
Some experts from abroad said that the Hwasong-17 missile was still in development. However, it is North’s longest-range missile designed to carry multiple nukes to destroy US missile defense systems.
According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, the missile that was fired from Pyongyang International Airport reached a maximum altitude approximately 6,040km (3.750 miles), and traveled approximately 1,000km (620 mi) before landing in international waters off the country’s east coast.
“The test-fire clearly demonstrated the reliability of the major strategic weapon system to represent (North Korea’s] strategic forces and its powerful combat performance, as the strongest strategic weapons in the world,” KCNA stated.
“Kim Jong Un solemnly stated that if [North Korea] continues to pose threats, frequently introducing nuke strike means, our party will resolutely respond to nukes and nuclear weapons and total confrontation with all out confrontation,” KCNA stated.
Kim stated that North Korea will continue to test weapons while the US bolsters its security commitment to its allies South Korea, Japan and South Korea.
There are fears that North Korea might conduct its first nuclear test in five years within the next few weeks.