The United States has deployed supersonic bombers and fighter jets in response to recent missile tests by North Korea.

The B-1B bombers conducted joint aerial exercises with other South Korean and American fighter jets on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He said the drills demonstrated an “ironclad” US security commitment to South Korea and the allies’ combined defense posture.

North Korea sparked widespread international condemnation on Friday after he test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable (ICBM) of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and with a range that could reach anywhere on the continental United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watched the test with her daughter – the first time it had been seen in public – and boasted that the ICBM was a “reliable, maximum capability” weapon for containing US military threats.

Image:
Kim Jong-un and his daughter inspected the intercontinental ballistic missile
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his daughter, walks away from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in this undated photo released November 19, 2022 by Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) North.  KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  NO SALES TO THIRD PARTIES.  SOUTH KOREA OUT.  NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN SOUTH KOREA.  REUTERS IS NOT ABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE.

State media photos showed Mr Kim walking hand-in-hand with the girl and looking together at a massive missile being loaded onto a launch truck.

Friday’s launch was part of the North’s ongoing barrage of missile tests that are seen as a bid to expand its weapons arsenal.

“Total Showdown”

Some foreign experts said the Hwasong-17 missile is still under development, but is the North’s longest-range ballistic weapon designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads to defeat US missile defense systems .

North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) said the missile fired from Pyongyang International Airport reached a maximum altitude of around 6,040 kilometers (3,750 miles) and traveled a distance of around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before landing in international waters off the country’s east coast.

“The test firing clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapons system to be representative of (North Korea’s) strategic forces and its powerful combat performance as the most powerful strategic weapon in the world” , KCNA said.

“Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that if the enemies continue to threaten [North Korea]frequently introducing nuclear strike means, our party and government will resolutely respond to nuclear bombs with nuclear weapons and all-out confrontation with all-out confrontation,” KCNA said.

Kim’s statement suggests that North Korea will continue its weapons testing activities as the United States continues to strengthen its security commitment to its allies South Korea and Japan.

North Korea is feared to conduct its first nuclear test within five years.

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