File photo shows that a fighter plane lands at Gary Jet Center, Chicago, the United States, Aug. 18, 2016. (Xinhua/Wang Ping)
U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and F-15C Eagle fighter escorts on Saturday flew in international airspace over waters east of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to the Pentagon.
"This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown" off the DPRK's coast in the 21st century, said the Pentagon in a statement, adding that the move underscored "the seriousness with which we take DPRK's reckless behavior."
"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 statement added.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly that the United States "will have no choice but to totally destroy" DPRK if forced to defend itself or its allies.
After the threat, the DPRK said it might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.
China on Friday urged all relevant parties to avoid any action that may increase tension on the Korean Peninsula.
"The current situation on the peninsula is severe and complicated," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily press briefing. "Only if all sides bear their due responsibilities, can the peninsula nuclear issue be truly resolved and peace and stability restored to the region."
The DPRK knows well that China opposes its development of nuclear weapons and nuclear tests, Lu said. "What parties concerned should do now is to strictly and comprehensively implement UN Security Council resolutions and make positive efforts to resolve the issue through dialogue."
"China opposes unilateral sanctions imposed by any country outside the framework of the UN Security Council," Lu said.