North Korea has denounced the recent flight by a US strategic bomber and fighters near its coast as “extremely dangerous” and a “provocation.”
“The independent sortie of a US B-1B Lancer strategic bomber squadron over international waters in the East Sea is an extremely dangerous act, designed to drive the situation of the Korean Peninsula to extremes and an anti-Pyongyang provocation that cannot be overlooked in the least,” the state-run Uriminzokkiri said in a commentary on Friday.
The media outlet said the US, since the beginning of the year, had sent B-1B bombers over the skies of the Korean Peninsula 19 times in the form of joint military drills with South Korea.
“But this time, the US went ahead with the bomber flight independently with no prior consultations with its puppet (the South),” the article claimed.
“The US belligerent bravado will only fiercely erupt our will for revenge,” it said.
The US sent the bombers for a military maneuver over waters east of North Korea on Saturday, and later in the day, the Pentagon announced that its fighters from Guam and Okinawa in Japan had flown in international airspace over the waters in “a clear message” that the US “has many military options to defeat any threat.”
Earlier Trump had told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the US would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary. North Korea described that threat as a “declaration of war,” and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho later said that Pyongyang had every right to shoot down US planes because Washington had “declared war.”
Addressing the UNGA, Ri referred to US President Donald Trump as “President Evil” and vowed that Pyongyang would defend itself against any “decapitating operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country.”
The US and North Korea have been at loggerheads over Pyongyang’s weapons and nuclear programs and Washington’s military posture against the North.
Pyongyang says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.