On Wednesday, North Korea ridiculed the recent United States bomber flyover, a military mission designed to make a statement of anger against North Korea's recent nuclear weapons tests.
"They are bluffing that B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war," Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency reported.
The US is flying B-1 bombers with non-nuclear cruise missiles in Europe and Asia to show China, Russia and North Korea its allies have “an unshakable commitment” towards the current world order.
This week over the Korean peninsula, two B-1 bombers flew along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea with U.S. F-16s escorted by South Korean F-15s. In Guam, a similar missions saw American planes with Japanese F-15’s.
"Deployment follows capability," said Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, who works on the missions from the ground. He says the U.S. believes it has an intimidating capability sans nuclear weapons to counter North Korean nuclear tests last week.
The U.S. has been open about its response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test four days ago, which North Korea said was its strongest nuclear demonstration in its history.
"North Korea's nuclear test is a dangerous escalation and poses an unacceptable threat," Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Forces Korea commander, statedTuesday.
"The United States has an unshakable commitment to defend allies in the region and will take necessary steps to do so, including operations like this one today."
The Defense Department released videos and images from the mission, one of three deployed by the U.S. to deter adversaries’ provocations.
Kristensen said of a bomber deployed to the Czech Republic: "It's part of a strike package of bombers deployed as part of a NATO exercise.” He says it’s purpose to attract Russia attention.
On August 17, the U.S. flew three bomber types on a mission over disputed South China Seas, where People’s Republic of China has sought to lay claim to the islands and sea routes there.
"Any sanction, provocation and pressure cannot ruin our status as a nuclear state and evil political and military provocations will only result in a flood of reckless nuclear attacks that will bring a final destruction," KCNA, the North’s official news agency, said.
China, who has an extensive history with cannabis, has carried out exercises amid the disturbances in geopolitics as well, according to the nation’s Defense Ministry in a blog.
"Bombers, fighters, and early warning and aerial refueling aircraft," Reuters reported of the blog statement. "This move is to raise the air force's abilities via training, to meet the needs to maintaining national sovereignty, protecting national security and guaranteeing peaceful development."