Dana White, chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement Saturday that U.S. B-1 bomber and F-15 fighter jets launched from airfields in the region and flew in worldwide airspace over waters east of North Korea.
While the USA military routinely conducts such missions in response to North Korean missile and nuclear tests, this flight was the "farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone any USA fighter or bomber aircraft [has] flown off North Korea's coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take [North Korea's] reckless behavior", White said.
"North Korea's weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire worldwide community".More news: Intel unveils 8th generation 'Coffee Lake' CPUs for desktop PCs
"The U.S. military side [told us] that North Korea may be surprised", Lee said, adding that Pyongyang has reportedly been taking steps to avoid "any accidental provocations" at the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Hours after the flights Sunday, a North Korean government propaganda website posted a video portraying US warplanes and an aircraft carrier being destroyed by attacks. For the North.it would mean the collapse of their regime, and with it the Kim dynasty that's ruled for more than 50 years; for the USA, it would spell untold casualties for its allies of South Korea and Japan. The action escalated tensions with the USA and North Korea's neighbors, and last week its foreign minister said the regime's options included testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.
The leaders of the two countries have been locked in a battle of words recently, with Trump calling the North Korean leader "rocket man" and a "madman", while Kim Jong-un branded Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard".
"None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission", Ri said in broad denunciation of Trump that drew applause from the North Korean delegation.More news: Is Dwyane Wade's next stop Cleveland?
But North Korea's dated air defenses complicate that task.
The US frequently responds to North Korea's provocative missile and nuclear tests by flying its B-1B Lancer, a long-range, high-altitude, supersonic bomber near North Korea's borders.
Two days ago, an executive order allowing Washington to ramp up fresh sanctions against North Korea was signed by Trump with the latest measure banning foreign banks and businesses doing any trade with Pyongyang.
Earlier this month, Pyongyang fired its second missile in as many months over northern Japan into the Pacific Ocean.More news: Nintendo To Update 'Super Mario Run' On September 29
North Korea's ultimate goal, according to the minister, is reaching a strategic "balance of power with the United States".