Biden deploys supersonic bombers to North Korean border as tensions soar

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The US has deployed two supersonic bomber aircraft following the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea.Washington sent B-1B bombers to take part in joint drills with South Korean and Japanese forces on Saturday, following Pyongyang’s missile test on Friday.US National Security Council spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, said the White House was committed to taking “all necessary measures” to protect its allies in close proximity to North Korea following Friday’s test launch.Japan’s defence minister, Yasukazu Hamada, had commented on Friday that the new ICBM “could cover the entire mainland United States” with its up to 15,000-kilometre range.North Korea’s state media touted the launch of the new Hwasong-17 missile, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, as a “reliable and maximum-capacity” weapon to oppose US nuclear collaboration with the state’s regional neighbours.North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, was photographed watching the ICBM launch with his wife and daughter, who was publicly photographed for the first time.Reports say the missile reached a maximum altitude of more than 6,000km and travelled around 1,000km before plunging into international waters.Pyongyang’s state media said the missile test, which lasted just over an hour, “clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapon system” for the country, adding to North Korea’s “powerful combat performance”.It then quoted the country’s leader as vowing to respond to “nuclear confrontation with all-out confrontation”.It said North Korea would “resolutely react” to the use of any nuclear weapons with reciprocal nuclear action.READ MORE: FIFA accused of World Cup ‘collusion’Shortly before the missile launch, North Korea threatened “fiercer” responses to expanded military co-operation between the US, Japan and South Korea.North Korean foreign minister Choe Son Hue said on Thursday: “The US will be well aware that it is gambling, for which it will certainly regret.”Last week, President Biden spoke with the Japanese and South Korean leadership in Cambodia, emphasising that the alignment of Washington, Tokyo and Seoul was “even more important than it’s ever been”.The US President remarked: “We face real challenges, but our countries are more aligned than ever, more prepared to take on those challenges than ever.” “So I look forward to deepening the bonds of cooperation between our three countries.”It is thought North Korea has also developed Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 missiles, with previous tests indicating they may also be able to travel to the US mainland.South Korea’s state weather service also reported a 2.0 magnitude natural earthquake near to North Korea’s nuclear testing site over the weekend, which is the latest in a series of recorded earthquakes in the area.

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