North Korea failed to notice a fleet of US bombers flying up its eastern coast in a massive show of force, it has been claimed.
In a night-time mission on Saturday a group of B-1B Lancer bombers flew further up North Korea‘s coastline than any US plane has gone this century.
Opposition politician Lee Whan Young said the Pentagon had to publicly announce the flight so the North Koreans knew it had happened.
He told NBC News: ‘It looks like North Korea did not anticipate the U.S. Air Force operation as it happened close to midnight, and their radar failed to spot the Lancers.’
The Department of Defense said in a statement on Saturday: ‘This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat.’
The move, which was reported by analysts in Seoul, puts the planes within striking distance of US bombers which have been conducting drills alongside aircraft from the South in international airspace near North Korea.
Pyongyang had previously said it has the right to shoot down American warplanes whether or not they had entered the country’s airspace.