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N.K. claims U.S. strategic bombers flew over Korea early this week

All Headlines 08:46 May 02, 2017

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea claimed Tuesday that U.S. B-1B strategic bombers made flights over the Korean Peninsula early this week in an exercise on dropping nuclear bombs, saying that Washington is to blame for rising tensions.

The United States carried out a military provocation Monday by flying B-1B bombers over Korea less than one day after Seoul and Washington wrapped up their joint military drills at the end of last month, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The allies completed their two-month joint exercises on April 30, with U.S. strategic assets taking part in the training, such as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, F-35 stealth fighter jets and B-1B bombers.

"The B-1Bs from Guam sneakily flew over sky above the East Sea (on Monday) and joined cooperative operations with strategic striking means, including the aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarine," the KCNA said in an English report.

It is not confirmed whether the North's claim is true as South Korea and the U.S. have not unveiled relevant information.

This year's military drills came amid heightened tensions on the divided peninsula over another possible North Korean nuclear test and ballistic missile launches.

The U.S. sent a Navy strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson to the region as a show of force amid concerns about the possibility of Washington's pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang.

North Korea has warned that its military is ready to "sink" the aircraft carrier "with a single strike" if needed.

"Holding a precious sword of nuclear weapons, we are closely watching military movements of the enemy with full preparations for combats," the KCNA said.

North Korea has claimed that its development of nuclear weapons is a deterrent against what it calls Washington's hostile policy toward it.

This photo, provided by South Korea's Air Force on March 22, 2017, shows a joint military drill staged by U.S. B-1B strategic bombers and South Korean KF-16 fighter jets. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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