A handout photo released by the South Korean Air Force on 21 September 2016 of a B-1B 'Lancer' bomber (L) deployed by the US military and two South Korean F-15K fighters flying over Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, 21 September 2016.

The US dispatched two long-range bombers to South Korean skies this week as a show of force in response to recent North Korean nuclear and missile tests, the US armed forces reported Wednesday.

One of the two B-1B bombers flew over a military base in Osan and then returned to its station in Guam. The second landed in Osan, according to US armed forces in Korea.

"What we are showing today is just one tool we have to choose from a wide array of options," said US Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas W Bergeson on Wednesday. "The alliance grows stronger every day and we remain prepared to defend and to preserve the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region."

He called the ties between the two nations "iron-clad."

It is not clear when the bomber that landed in Osan would leave the country.

It was the second time in a week that the US has made a show of force in support of its South Korean ally and prompted accusations from North Korea that the United States is seeking to provoke it.

In Pyongyang state media, the bombers were described as "disreputable atomic tools of death."

The United States has 28,500 soldiers stationed in South Korea.

North Korea has rattled regional nerves this month, first with a nuclear test and, this week, with the test of a rocket for launching satellites that foreign experts say could easily be repurposed for intercontinental nuclear missiles. The September 9 test was its fifth nuclear test overall and its second this year.

North Korea is under heavy UN sanctions for its pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme, primarily because its neighbours and key world powers worry that the regime would be prone to use such weapons offensively. Its recent actions have prompted debate at the United Nations about further punishment.

US President Barack Obama used his address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to describe North Korea as a "wasteland" and argue that its nuclear tests constitute a threat to international security.

Related stories

US flies B-52 bomber over Korea after Pyongyang nuke test

North Korea "ready to conduct another nuclear test"

Pyongyang: missile tests were "simulated strikes" on South

North Korea threatens to test nuclear warhead, missiles

Latest news

Croatian MEP says Moscow wants to influence in western Balkans

Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic said in an interview with the Montenegrin Pobjeda daily on Thursday that Moscow is trying to exploit the political forces in Montenegro and that Russia's meddling in Montenegro's internal affairs was "unacceptable behaviour."

New York Times launches brand campaign for "The Truth" with Oscars ad

The New York Times is using Sunday's Academy Awards show to launch an advertising drive with an ad spot that capitalizes on President Donald Trump's confrontational relationship with the paper and other mainstream media.

Gambia charges former spy chief with murder of opposition leader

The former head of the Gambian national intelligence agency has been charged with the murder of an opposition youth leader who died in detention last year.

Dutch populist Wilders won't publicly campaign after security fiasco

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) won't make public appearances in support of its election campaign after a security official assigned to protect party founder Geert Wilders was detained by police.

Peace Implementation Council Steering Board calls for defusing tensions in Bosnia

The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) met on Thursday, expressing the international community's concern about the situation in the country and calling on local politicians to act rationally to prevent an escalation of the crisis after a motion was submitted to review an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in BiH's case against Serbia for genocide.

Trump blasts Mexico as top diplomat holds talks in Mexico City

US President Donald Trump expressed ambivalence about the US relationship with Mexico as he blasted the country Thursday for what he claims is an unfair trade relationship.

Croat accused of rioting at UEFA 2016 game goes on trial

The trial of Ivan Vucenovic, 21, accused of causing rioting during a European soccer championship match between Croatia and the Czech Republic in Saint Etienne, France last June, began at the Sibenik Municipal Court on Thursday.

Schools blocked, 26 arrests in Paris protests against police abuses

Hundreds of young people took to the streets of Paris on Thursday in protests against alleged police brutality, with local media reporting that 16 secondary schools were forced to shut.

Aid agency: 13 dead among dozens trapped in Libya container

The bodies of 13 migrants were found along with dozens of survivors trapped inside a transport container in Libya's western town of Khoms, an aid agency said Thursday.

Strike grounds hundreds of Alitalia flights

Employees of loss-making Italian airline Alitalia walked off the job Thursday after government-mediated talks failed to break the deadlock, causing the airline to cancel hundreds of flights.

Bosnia requests review of ICJ judgement that exonerating Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina's legal counsel Sakib Softic on Thursday submitted a request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, for a review of a judgement in the genocide suit against Serbia.

Frljic: Warsaw play big hit, ascribes criticism to conservative repression

The media have reported that Polish prosecutors on Wednesday began investigating Frljic's play, which the Catholic Church and the conservative community in Poland have called "blasphemous".