B-1 Lancer bombers from Guam flew over the Korean Peninsula Friday in response to North Korea's increasing ballistic missile and nuclear threat, according to the US Pacific Air Forces.
North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Tuesday, with US intelligence classifying the rocket as a brand-new missile that has not been seen before, a big step in Pyongyang's quest to field a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.
"North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland," Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, said.
"Let me be clear, if called upon we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces," the general said.
South Korean and Japanese warplanes as well as US F-16 fighters joined the US bombers for parts of Friday's mission, during which the bombers used inert weapons to practice attacks on a South Korea firing range.
The B-1 flight over South Korea follows a familiar pattern. Friday's was at least the sixth since April, all to show US resolve in the face of North Korean missile tests.