U.S. fighter jets buzz North Korea in show of force (photos)

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The U.S. made a show of force Saturday as bombers and fighter jets buzzed North Korea, heading north of the Demilitarized Zone; the farthest north in that area any aircraft has flown in this century. According to U.S. Pacific Command, “The mission was flown as part of the continuing demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to the defense of its homeland and in support of its partners and allies.”

The U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers deployed from Andersen AFB in Guam, a small island in the Western Pacific which is a U.S. territory, and which has recently been threatened by North Korean officials.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the mission was a demonstration of U.S. resolve.

“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 [the North Korean regime’s] reckless behavior,” White said in a statement Saturday.

“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” White continued.

The United Nations Security Council passed a US-drafted resolution to hit North Korea with new sanctions earlier this month, leading North Korea to threaten the U.S. and its allies.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” President Donald J. Trump said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

“Rocket Man” is a reference to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who replied to President Trump, saying he would “tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard (President Trump) with fire.”

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said there could be another nuclear test in the works, this time in the Pacific Ocean, similar to the testing of a hydrogen bomb the rouge nation claimed to have completed on September 3.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Ri Yong-ho said, “It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific. We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un.”

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, North Korea’s foreign minister called President Donald Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania” and promised that a strike on the American mainland was “inevitable.”

The U.S. display of force on Saturday is a demonstration showing that the U.S. is prepared to use all available military capabilities, according to White.

“North Korea’s weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community,” White said. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”

In Rocket Valley, South Korea, the U.S. Dept. of Defense reports conducting a “live fire exercise.” (see tweet below)

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