North Korea calls United States practice bombing run a provocation

U.S. military officials described the bomber mission as a defensive show of force and unity

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, left and second from left, fly with South Korean and U.S. fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea Saturday, July 8, 2017. Two U.S. bombers flew to the Korean Peninsula to join fighter jets from South Korea and Japan for a practice bombing run as part of a training mission in response to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs, officials said Friday. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean state media have sharply criticized a recent practice bombing run by two U.S. B-1B bombers on the Korean peninsula, calling it a dangerous move raising the risk of nuclear war.

A commentary Sunday in the ruling party’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper accused the U.S. of “reckless military provocations” and said the danger of nuclear war is reaching an extreme pitch. The commentary was reported on in English by the state Korean Central News Agency.

Two U.S. Air Force bombers released inert weapons Friday on a training range in South Korea. South Korean F-15 and U.S. F-16 fighter jets joined them in the drill. The bombers also flew with Japanese F-2 fighter jets over the East China Sea on their way back to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

The 10-hour mission came three days after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day. President Donald Trump and the leaders of South Korea and Japan, meeting during the G-20 summit in Germany, issued a joint statement condemning the launch.

U.S. military officials described the bomber mission as a defensive show of force and unity that demonstrated “the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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