13 October, 2017
A pair of B-1B Lancers, American supersonic nuclear-capable bombers flying out of Guam, carried out their first joint nighttime mission with South Korea over the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday night.
A spokesman for North Korea's foreign ministry said last month that the more sanctions the United States and its allies impose on North Korea, the faster the nation will work to develop its nuclear weapons programme, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.
Earlier this week news came out that the United Kingdom, a key USA ally and NATO member, has been drawing up military plans for a potential armed conflict with North Korea.
The U.S. bombers took off from the Andersen Air Force base in Guam, the U.S. Pacific territory that North Korea singled out as a possible target for a missile strike over the summer, as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un engaged in bombastic rhetoric and brinkmanship.
United States and South Korean wartime operational plans, including a plan to wipe out the North Korean leadership, were stolen by North Korean hackers previous year, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker said on Wednesday.
"It is the steadfast will of all the service personnel and people of the DPRK to shower fire on the U.S. which cried out for totally destroying the DPRK and settle accounts with the showdown with the USA that has lasted century after century by dint of unprecedented strategic force", North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a delegation from Russia's TASS news agency on Wednesday, according to an English dispatch from the North's Korean Central News Agency.
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A South Korean presidential official said Tuesday's operation was part of a recently agreed upon rotational deployment of US military assets to the peninsula, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
The South Korean Unification Ministry could not confirm that the complex has been reopened, but did say that recent bus movements and illuminated street lamps in the site have been observed. North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test, reportedly detonating a hydrogen bomb, on September 3, calling it a "perfect success".
Tensions over North Korea's weapons programme have soared in recent months with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of multiple sets of United Nations sanctions.
"I think I have a little bit different attitude on North Korea than other people might have", he told reporters at the start of talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House. "War would be a nightmare for the Korean Peninsula and surrounding regions".
"There's one thing that the U.S. Army can do, and that is you've got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our President can employ if needed", Mattis said.
The North's official media touted the party's byungjin policy - which pushes for simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and the economy - and added that military power was "the guarantee for victory".