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United States flies strategic bombers over Korean peninsula

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North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho speaks to the media in New York

On the same day as Trump's meeting with military leaders, the U.S. Air Force flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force, after North Korea had threatened to shoot down U.S. bombers conducting such tests.

The two US Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday.

South Korean and USA government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling party, which fell on Tuesday.

The Pacific Air Force said the bombers, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, also trained with Japanese fighter jets on Tuesday, "making this the first time" the Lancers have conducted combined training with the allied nations at night.

President Trump summoned his national security team, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the White House to talk about the potential conflict.

Russia's TASS news agency quoted North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as saying: "With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us".

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Carter's track record will make him even more palatable to the North, as he stepped in previously, in 1994, when then-US President Bill Clinton was drawing up plans for an attack on North Korea's nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defenses and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea.

The Air Force said Tuesday's overflight demonstrated how USA military forces "are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the US stands resolutely with Japan and [South Korea] to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments to safeguard security and stability".

The Defense Ministry after an investigation said in May that North Korea was likely behind the hacking of the Defense Integrated Data Center in September previous year, but had refused to confirm media speculation that the decapitation strike plan was compromised. Last month he got China to agree to new U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

Tensions between the USA and North Korea have intensified in recent months as the Trump administration has struggled to rein in Kim Jong-un's expanding nuclear and ballistic weapons programme. North Korea needs time and proof to believe that abandoning its nuclear programme will contribute to its own political and economic advantage. "We strongly urge North Korea and the United States to stop their bellicose posturing and seriously think about a peaceful solution", it said.

When it first opened in 2004, the Kaesong complex, located about 54 kilometers northwest of Seoul, was meant to promote inter-Korean development and give North Korean workers a taste of life in the south, including snack foods like the cakes known as Choco Pies and toiletries that were resold as luxury items in the North.

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