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US Bombers Hold Live-Fire Drills Near North Korea

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, left, drops a bomb over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea, July 8, 2017, in this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry. 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.

U.S. bombers, jointly with South Korean forces, have conducted rare, live-fire drills near the border with North Korea, according to the South Korean military.

The South Korean military said in a statement that the drill was designed to “sternly respond to the series of North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.”

The military said two U.S. B-1B Lancers, deployed from Anderson Air Base in Guam, joined by U.S. and South Korean jet fighters in the eastern province of Gangwon, dropped weapons in a simulated destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities.

North Korea carried out a test launch earlier in the week of an intercontinental ballistic missile, complete with a re-entry vehicle that could allow it to be equipped with a nuclear warhead.

U.S. military officials estimated the missile had a range of 5,500 kilometers, potentially putting parts of the northwestern United States within Pyongyang’s reach.

U.S. President Donald Trump said after North Korea’s missile launch that he is prepared to do “some pretty severe things” to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

“They are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner and something will have to be done,” he said. “There are consequences for their very, very bad behavior,” the president said.