Early Monday morning, The U.S. Pacific Command announced that in conjunction with allies Japan and South Korea, the U.S. had participated in a “sequenced bilateral show of force” over the Korean peninsula the previous day. This was done in response to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch over Japan on Thursday.
“U.S. Pacific Command maintains the ability to respond to any threat in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater at a moment’s notice,” the statement notes. All three countries provided fighter jets, with only the U.S. sending bombers.
“During the mission, U.S. and [Republic of Korea Air Force] aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced their attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area,” according to the statement. “The F-35Bs, B-1B bombers and Koku Jieitai fighters flew together over waters near Kyushu, Japan.”
On Sunday, President Donald Trump indirectly addressed the latest North Korean test by referring to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” in a tweet:
I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2017
Trump will be speaking to the U.N. General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday, where a North Korean delegation is expected to be present.