US bombers fly off North Korea coast to condemn ‘reckless’ behavior

US bombers fly off North Korea coast to condemn ‘reckless’ behavior
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Several U.S. bombers and fighter jet escorts flew in international waters off North Korea's coast on Saturday as a display of "resolve" against the nation's "reckless" behavior, the Pentagon announced.

The mission included several B-1B bombers launched from the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam, as well as fighter escorts launched from Okinawa, Japan.

The Department of Defense (DOD) said the mission was the furthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that any U.S. military aircraft have flown in more than a dozen years.


"This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take the DPRK’s reckless behavior," DOD spokeswoman Dana White said.

"This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat," she added. "We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies."

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been trading insults since Trump's address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he referred to Kim as "Rocket Man" and threatened the country's destruction if it forced the U.S. to act.

In a response, Kim threatened to "tame" Trump with "fire."

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire," Kim said in a rare video statement this week. "A frightened dog barks louder."

Trump maintained his barbs on the North Korean leader Friday night during a rally in Alabama for Senate GOP candidate Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangePandemic proves importance of pharmaceutical innovation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE, calling Kim a "Little Rocket Man."

North Korea conducted a second test of a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, and last week fired a missile that flew over Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean. The latter test prompted sirens in Japan and an advisory from the government to seek shelter.