Heavy U.S. bombers and fighter jets flew past North Korea Saturday in a warning to the rogue regime.
U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers out of Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, along with U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, flew over waters east of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take DPRK’s reckless behavior,” Dana W. White, chief Pentagon spokeswoman, explained in a statement.
“[This] demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” the Pentagon said. “The U.S. regularly conducts these missions as part of the continuous bomber presence and to remind the North that the conventional capabilities of the U.S. and its allies are vastly superior to anything North Korea has to throw into a conflict.”
President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un are engaged in a war of words. The president warned Tuesday that the U.S. will “totally destroy” North Korea if it is forced to defend itself or its allies. In response, Kim threatened to “tame the mentally-deranged dotard with fire.” The North Korean foreign minister told reporters Thursday that the regime may detonate a hydrogen bomb, like the one North Korea purportedly tested earlier this month, over the Pacific Ocean.
The Trump administration is committed to a peaceful, diplomatic solution, but all options, including the application of military force, are on the table. The North has repeatedly spat in the face of the administration’s overtures, leading Trump and his team to pursue an aggressive pressure campaign.
In addition to the United Nations sanctions strangling the North Korean economy, Trump signed an executive order Thursday tightening the noose around the regime by allowing the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State to punish foreign companies and firms that illegally cooperate with Pyongyang.
If these options fail, the U.S. may pursue a more aggressive strategy. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
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