The US flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday, as the US ambassador to the UN warned that China, Japan and South Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang’s latest missile tests.
North Korea said it had conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday that proved its ability to strike America’s mainland.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Twitter on Saturday that the US was “done talking” about North Korea, which was “not only a US problem”.
(@nikkihaley)Done talking about NKorea.China is aware they must act.Japan & SKorea must inc pressure.Not only a US problem.It will req an intl solution.
“China is aware they must act,” Haley said, urging Japan and South Korea to increase pressure and calling for an international solution.
China, the North’s main ally, said it opposed North Korea’s missile launches, which it said violated UN security council resolutions designed to curb Pyongyang’s banned nuclear and missile programmes. “China hopes all parties act with caution, to prevent tensions from continuing to escalate,” its foreign ministry said on Saturday.
Early in his presidency, Trump met China’s president, Xi Jinping, and expressed hope Beijing would use its economic clout to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. But on Saturday, Trump said on Twitter he was
“very disappointed in China” which profited from trade with the US but did “nothing for us with North Korea” .
The B-1B flight was a response to Friday’s missile test and North Korea’s launch of the
Hwasong-14 rocket on 3 July , the Pentagon said. The bombers had taken off from a US airbase in Guam and been joined by Japanese and South Korean fighter jets during the exercise.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” said Gen Terrence J O’Shaughnessy, the Pacific air forces commander. “If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
Also on Sunday, the US Missile Defense Agency announced the US had successfully shot down a medium-range missile in the latest test of its THAAD missile defence programme, which is designed to protect the country against potential threats from countries such as North Korea and Iran.
The test was planned before the rising tensions with North Korea and involved a medium-range missile, not the long-range types being tested by the North Koreans.