THE United States has flown two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, according to a statement by the US Pacific Air Forces.

It said the mission was a response to consecutive missile tests by North Korea this month.

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Analysts say flight data from the North’s second ICBM test on Friday night showed Pyongyang’s weapons are now in range of a broader part of mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago.

“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” remarked Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence J O’Shaughnessy.

“Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.

“If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing,” he added.

The United States often sends powerful war planes in times of heightened tensions with North Korea. B-1 bombers have been sent to South Korea for flyovers several times this year in response to the North’s missile tests and the death of a US college student last month after he was released by North Korea in a coma.

The Hwasong-14 ICBM, which the North first tested on July 4, is the highlight of several new weapons systems Pyongyang launched this year.

They include an intermediate range missile that North Korea says is capable of hitting Alaska and Hawaii and a solid-fuel mid-range missile, which analysts say can be fired faster than liquid-fuel missiles.

A North Korean state television announcement at the time said the missile was capable of hitting targets anywhere in the world.