World

North Korean crisis: US flies B-1B bomber over Korean peninsula

07 Dec 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

A US military B-1B Lancer bomber participated in a major joint air drill between American and South Korean forces, to send a strong message to North Korea.

The Lancer, which can deliver nuclear weapons, simulated bombing a military field.

Washington has also sent its most advanced fighter jets, the F-22 and F-35, for the drills, which come days after Pyongyang's highest-ever ballistic missile test.

In context: US' show of force against North Korea

29 Nov 2017North Korea launches highest-ever missile that reached 4,500km altitude

On November 29, North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which reached an altitude of 4,500km and flew 960km.

The missile, the North's highest-ever ICBM test, landed in Japanese waters.

US President Donald Trump responded by saying, "We will take care of it."

This is the latest in a series of Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, leading to simmering regional tensions.

05 Dec 2017North Korea calls Trump a "frightened old lunatic"

Last week, North Korea successfully test fired its highest-ever nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Hwasong-15.

The test was followed by Pyongyang's increasingly belligerent rhetoric against the US and its regional allies.

State-run KCNA called US President Donald Trump a "frightened old lunatic" and Japanese President Shinzo Abe a "cult" leader.

This comes as tensions simmer over a major US-South Korea military exercise in the region.

07 Dec 2017North Korean crisis: US flies B-1B bomber over Korean peninsula

Details200 warplanes, 12,000 troops participate in major air drills

Over 200 warplanes and around 12,000 troops have participated in the annual week-long Vigilant Ace aerial exercise.

The South Korean military said the Lancer bomber was participating in the simulation at the Pilsung range, around 150km away from the North Korean border.

The South said it plans to launch a unit of weaponized "dronebots" next year to conduct reconnaissance on crucial North Korean sites.

ReactionNorth Korea says drills are provoking nuclear war

North Korea has condemned the drills as "nuclear war provocation moves."

It said the "ceaseless large-scale war games... creating a situation that a nuclear war may break out any moment."

The US had earlier warned North Korea would be "utterly destroyed" in case of war.

The drills come amid UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman's visit to North Korea for dialogue.