North Korea says US pushing peninsula to 'explosion'

One of two B-1B Lancer bombers (centre) deployed by the US military and four South Korean F-15K fighters fly over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Sept 13, 2016.
One of two B-1B Lancer bombers (centre) deployed by the US military and four South Korean F-15K fighters fly over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Sept 13, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
Two US F-16 fighters taking off from Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Sept 13, 2016.
Two US F-16 fighters taking off from Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Sept 13, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea on Wednesday (Sept 14) accused the United States of pushing the Korean Peninsula to "the point of explosion" after it dispatched two huge bombers in a show of force against Pyongyang.

The supersonic B-1B Lancers flew over South Korea on Tuesday as Washington vowed its "unshakeable commitment" to defend its allies in the region following North Korea's fifth and largest-ever nuclear test conducted last week.

Washington called the demonstration "just one example of the full range of military capabilities". It took similar military actions following previous atomic tests.

North Korea labelled the flyover by the "infamous" nuclear bombers as Washington's attempt to seek "an opportunity of mounting a preemptive nuclear attack", referring to US plans to deploy further strategic assets to the peninsula.

"These extremely reckless provocations of the US imperialist warmongers are pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the point of explosion hour by hour," the state-run KCNA news agency said.

It warned that the North Korean army was fully armed with "all means for military counteraction" to strike back at any enemy attack in "a single blow".

Washington is planning to send the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan and the Japan-based Carrier Strike Group Five to South Korean waters next month for a joint naval exercise, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

A spokesman for United States Forces Korea declined to confirm the report to AFP, citing operational matters.

South Korea hosts 28,000 US troops as the two Koreas technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

The bombers' flight came after the North on Friday carried out what it described as a "nuclear warhead test" and vowed to take further measures to increase its nuclear strike force "in quality and in quantity".