North Korea calls U.S. 'stupid' for nuclear bomber exercise

Pyongyang has said it would "take on nuclear threats with a nuclear response."
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Jan. 11, 2016 at 11:39 AM
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SEOUL, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- North Korea condemned the United States after a long-range U.S. B-52 bomber flew across South Korea airspace Sunday, claiming the move was headed for the "edge of war."

Pyongyang's state-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated Monday it would "take on nuclear threats with a nuclear response," after the bomber arrived from the U.S. Air Force base in Guam.

The United States often has sent B-52 and B-2 bombers to South Korea over the decades, The New York Times reported.

On Sunday the bomber, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, was joined by South Korea F-15K fighter jets and U.S. F-16s, Yonhap reported.

North Korea verbally attacked the United States' show of force, calling the nation "stupid," adding U.S. desires "will always be a crazy dream."

Pyongyang also said its hydrogen bomb test was justified and the result of a hostile U.S. policy.

"[The United States] at the slightest movement pushes its nuclear aircraft carrier and strategic bombers onto South Korea and its surroundings, frequently carrying out exercises for a nuclear strike against [North Korea]," the Rodong stated.

China, North Korea's longtime ally, also raised concerns regarding the deployment of the nuclear bomber over South Korea airspace.

Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters Monday that China hopes "relevant countries act carefully and avoid creating a vicious circle of tensions," South Korean television network KBS reported.

Safeguarding the stability of Northeast Asia meets the common interests of all countries, Hong said.

China, however, may not be doing enough to stem the tides of North Korea provocations.

The United States previously has warned the Chinese leadership and has criticized Beijing for its failure to keep a tighter grip on Pyongyang.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the Chinese approach "has not worked," and that neither side can "continue business as usual."

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