U.S. officials discussed Monday sending more strategic American weaponry to their ally South Korea days after North Korea announced it had tested a hydrogen bomb. Those discussions, reported by Reuters, come just a day after the U.S. flew a B-52 bomber that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead around South Korean airspace in response to the test that North Korea boasted about last week.
"The United States and South Korea are continuously and closely having discussions on additional deployment of strategic assets,” a South Korean representative said Monday. Further details were not provided to the press, but media in the country indicated the U.S. could send bombers to South Korea as well as nuclear-capable submarines and F-22 stealth fighter jets.
While the United States has expressed doubt over North Korea’s claims that it tested a hydrogen bomb, the message was clear that the country intends to mount a nuclear warhead to a missile, according to Bloomberg.
"There's nothing that's occurred in the last 24 hours that has caused the United States government to change our assessment of North Korea's technical and military capabilities," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during the daily briefing after the test last week. He added: "We'll be working closely with our allies and partners in the region who have their own capabilities [that] can be brought to this collection and analysis of data," reiterating the United States' "rock-solid" support of its allies in the region.
North Korea has bragged about the testing internally, with leader Kim Jong Un praising his scientists and telling his countrymen that more nuclear bombs would be created to show Western aggressors that North Korea is a formidable military force.