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In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., prepares to take off from Andersen AFB, Guam, on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The Pentagon says B-1B bombers from Guam and F-15 fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, have flown a mission in international airspace over the waters east of North Korea. The U.S. says it's the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula that any American fighter or bomber has flown this century.(Staff Sgt. Joshua Smoot/U.S. Air force via AP)

US bombers flew close to North Korea's east coast in a demonstration of military force


The U.S. Air Force on Saturday flew B-1B bombers and F-15 jets to the farthest point north of the Demilitarized Zone, which separates North and South Korea, by any American aircraft this century.

"This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat," Defense Department spokesman Dana White said in a statement.

"North Korea's weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies," White said.

The flyover happened just moments before North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho was scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He said that Preident Trump is "on a suicide mission" and added that Trump's personal attacks at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un make the country's "rocket’s visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."

On Friday, Trump tweeted, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

Earlier in the week during a speech at the United Nations, President Trump first publicly referred to Kim as "rocket man" and said that if the provacations continue then "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Despite UN sanctions placed on North Korea, the North Korean Foreign Minister said the country will not stop its nuclear development.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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