The pair of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers flew from a US base on Guam and were joined by USA and South Korean jet fighters to conduct the simulated destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities, the South's air force said.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the long-range heavy bombers flew close to the tense and heavily militarised land border with the North before turning back. "Let me be clear: If called upon we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces".
"The B-1Bs practiced attack capabilities by releasing inert weapons at the Pilsung Range", the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.
U.S. B-1B Lancer flies over South Korea during a joint live-fire drill in this handout picture provided by South Korean Air Force and relased by Yonhap on July 8, 2017.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday in Hamburg, where the leaders of G20 nations are meeting, there would not be many good options left on North Korea if the peaceful pressure campaign failed.
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U.S. President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to confront the North "very strongly" and said Washington was considering "severe things" for the isolated state following the ICBM test.
He stressed, "This mission clearly demonstrates the U.S. -ROK alliance remains prepared to use the full range of capabilities to defend and to preserve the security of the Korean Peninsula and region".
As the bombers returned to Guam, they flew over the East China Sea with F-2 fighter jets of the Koku Jieitai, or Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the statement said. Jerry P. Martinez, U.S. Forces Japan commander.
"The U.S. -Japan alliance and the relationship between our militaries are stronger than they have ever been", said Air Force Lt. Gen.
A day earlier in Poland, Trump said the USA was considering "some pretty severe things" in response to North Korea's actions.
North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its intercontinental ballistic missile is meant to overcome US hostility and enable the North to "strike the very heart of the U.S.at any given time".
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