After the United States conducted two bomber flights over South Korea in a bid to deter North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Pyongyang on Wednesday shrugged off the attempt as a bluff, with no real consequence.
Two U.S. supersonic B-1 Lancer strategic bombers Tuesday flew over the Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, following North Korea’s fifth nuclear test last week. The aim was reportedly to show solidarity with the U.S. allies in the region, and a show of force against Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the U.S. commander in South Korea, watched the flight, along with South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Lee Sun-jin.
“Today's demonstration provides just one example of the full range of military capabilities in the deep resources of this strong alliance to provide and strengthen extended deterrence,” Reuters reported Brooks as saying in a statement, after the flight.
Despite the latest attempt, North Korea has not taken a step back in terms of its nuclear program. It has, however, blamed the U.S. for escalating tensions in the region.
“They are bluffing that B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war,” said a statement from North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.
“The U.S. imperialists keep letting their nuclear strategic bombers fly over South Korea in a bid to seek an opportunity of mounting a preemptive nuclear attack,” the statement added.
Issuing a warning to Washington, Pyongyang said it is willing to take strong actions to stop excesses on U.S.’s part. The statement added, “They had better stop their rash actions.”
While the United Nations has been powerless in containing North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States on Tuesday met in Seoul to discuss an appropriate response to Pyongyang’s fifth and possibly its largest nuclear test so far.