The US military responded to recent missile launches from North Korea on Saturday by flying two supersonic bombers along with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets.
North Korea sparked international anger on Friday after it launched a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and with a range that could reach anywhere in the continental United States.
The United States and its regional allies condemned the move and accused Pyongyang of trying to destabilize the region as it seeks to bolster its nuclear program and gain geopolitical prowess through military advances.
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly watched the launch of the ICMB on Friday with his wife and “beloved daughter,” in what some saw as a sign of his growing confidence in Pyongyang’s abilities to take on the military. high-level, such as the US military.
The United States deployed B-1B supersonic bombers in joint exercises over South Korea earlier this month for the first time in five years after North Korea stepped up its missile tests and open aggression in the region.
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The B-1B, which reportedly irks Kim for its ability to deliver a massive payload of conventional guided and unguided weapons, has been called the “backbone” of the US bomber force, according to a statement from the US Air Force
“It can rapidly launch massive numbers of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time,” the statement said. Adding that its “low radar cross section” allows the bomber to form “a robust and integrated defense system that supports the penetration of hostile airspace.”
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At Japan’s request, the UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday on North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch.
Though the council’s ability to do anything to punish Pyongyang seems unlikely given China’s and Russia’s blockade earlier this year on attempts to further sanction North Korea for violating a UN charter by expanding its capabilities. nuclear and ballistic
Associated Press contributed to this report.