Two US bombers fly near Korean peninsula

Two U.S. bombers carried out an exercise off the Korean Peninsula on Thursday amid weeks of escalated tensions between North Korea and the United States, according to Reuters.

A statement from the Air Force said that the exercise was planned in advance and was not in response to any specific actions from North Korea.

“The bilateral continuous bomber presence (CBP) mission was planned in advance … and was not in response to any current event,” the Air Force told Reuters in a statement.

The exercise involved two U.S. B-1B bombers launched from a U.S. base in Guam, escorted by fighter jets from South Korea.

Thursday’s mission comes several weeks after a similar exercise in October timed to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling party.

October’s exercise was also the first joint mission between the U.S., South Korea, and Japan simultaneously, according to the Air Force.

North Korea claimed in September that it had carried out a successful test of a hydrogen bomb, which the country plans to mount on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the capability of reaching the U.S. mainland. So far, the country has not shown the capability to reach the mainland United States with missile technology.