Donald Trump is sending nuclear bombers to the Korean peninsula as tensions in the region reach breaking point.
North Korea and the US have been teetering on the brink of war for months after Kim Jong-un carried out a series of controversial missile launches.
Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan.
Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough.
South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.
A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.
Secretary of Defence James Mattis said the US “remains steadfast in its commitment” to the defence of the South, according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt Jeff Davis.
Capt David said: “He further emphasised that any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a response that is effective and overwhelming.”.
Washington is also expected to deploy a series of strategic assets from the US as well as from military bases in Guam and Japan, reports the Korea Times.
The USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class supercarrier, will join the Foal Eagle exercise after departing from San Diego.
The nuke-powered aircraft carrier will carry dozens of fighter jets, early warning aircraft and anti-sub craft.
It will be accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and two Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.
From the US Marine Corps in Japan, F-35B stealth fighters will be deployed to the peninsula for the first time.
“An F-35B is capable of evading anti-aircraft radar and making preemptive strikes,” a military official said.
North Korea repeatedly protests that both Foal Eagle and Key Resolve are rehearsals for invasion.
Pyongyang’s Korea Central News Agency reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has stressed “a need for preparation for a fight”.
He listed guidelines to strike South Korea and the US “mercilessly”.
SOURCE: Jon Lockett