Just days after North Korea claimed to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a show of force by flying a U.S. B-52 bomber over Osan, South Korea, officials said Sunday.
The bomber was joined by South Korean F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft during the "low-level flight,"
"This was a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland," said Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement.
"North Korea's nuclear test is a blatant violation of its international obligations. U.S. joint military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific will continue to work with all of our regional allies and partners to maintain stability and security," Harris said.
The last time this kind of flight happened was March 19, 2013, one month after North Korea's last nuclear test in February 2013.
North Korea on Wednesday announced that it had tested a "hydrogen bomb" but U.S. and other officials have treated that claim with great skepticism.
Full-sized hydrogen bombs, also called thermonuclear weapons, are typically far more powerful than atomic bombs. North Korea claimed the device was a "small H-bomb."
North Korea carried out tests to set off nuclear devices in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
The B-52 Stratofortress is a powerful long-range strategic heavy bomber. It is 159 feet long with a wingspan of 185 feet, and is powered by eight engines, according to the Air Force. It can carry around 70,000 pounds of ordnance.