After the US flew sophisticated B-1B Lancer bombers over the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang warned that more such actions could lead to a nuclear conflict and eventually world war,

In a show of force against the reclusive regime of North Korea, Washington flew two long-range strategic bombers on Saturday, 8 July, flanked by several Japanese and South Korean fighter jets. The trilateral action came days after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Responding to the unscheduled military exercises, the North said such actions could only exacerbate the already tense situation.

"A simple misjudgment or mistake may lead to the outbreak of a nuclear war and that, in turn, is sure to lead to a new world war. The US saying it will regularly deploy strategic bombers to the Korean peninsula is the same as a crazy act of playing fire on top of an ammunitions locker," said the state-run Rodong Sinmun on Sunday, 9 July.

The signed commentary by the mouthpiece is in line with North Korea's policy. It usually sees any joint military drills by South Korea and the US as actual preparations for a full-scale invasion.

"US schemes aimed at increasing its threats of nuclear war against the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea – North Korea's official name] for its legitimate and justified measures to defend its sovereignty and dignity will not evade self-destruction," added the Pyongyang daily.

The nuclear-capable B-1B bombers, originating from the Guam airbase, practised "attack capabilities" for several hours. In an unusual move, US forces also published a photo of the bombers dropping inert GBU-56 laser-guided bombs on mock targets.

B-1B
The US B-1B bombers were flanked by several Japanese and South Korean warplanes Reuters file photo