US B-1B bombers alongside with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets took part in a 10-hour mission yesterday (Saturday July 29).
The manoeuvre followed Pyongyang’s ICBM test launch on Friday, which Kim Jong-Un said demonstrated his country’s ability to strike any target in the United States.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” said General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, in a statement today.
“If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
The announcement coincided with flurry of tweets from President Trump, criticising China for failing to rein in their troublesome neighbours.
“I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Trump wrote.
“We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
The president has repeatedly urged China to rein in North Korea, but Beijing maintains that dialogue is the only way forward.
In response to the test, Beijing issued a by-now familiar statement urging restraint on all sides.