North Korea accused the United States of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic U.S. bombers flew over the area in a training drill with the South Korean air force.
The two supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed amid rising tensions over North Korea’s dogged pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of pressure from the United States.
The flight of the two bombers on Monday came as U.S. President Donald Trump said he was open to meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the appropriate circumstances.
South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told a briefing in Seoul that Monday’s joint drill was conducted to stop provocations by the North and to test readiness against another nuclear test.
The U.S. air force said in a statement the bombers had flown from Guam to conduct training exercises with the South Korean and Japanese air forces.
North Korea said the bombers conducted “a nuclear bomb dropping drill against major objects” in its territory at a time when Trump and “other U.S. warmongers are crying out for making a preemptive nuclear strike” on the North.
“The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war,” the North’s official
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been high for weeks, driven by concerns that the North might conduct its sixth nuclear test in defiance of pressure from the United States and Pyongyang’s sole major ally, China.