In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, South Korean F-15 fighter jets drop bombs over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)
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South Korean and Japanese jets joined exercises with two supersonic U.S. B-1B bombers above and near the Korean peninsula Thursday, two days after North Korea fired a missile over Japan, sharply raising tension.The drills, involving four U.S. stealth F-35B jets as well as South Korean and Japanese fighter jets, came at the end of annual joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises focused mainly on computer simulations. North Korea has made no secret of its intention to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States and has recently threatened the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. It denounced the U.S. exercises in traditionally robust fashion.However, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, when asked by reporters just hours later if the United States had run out of diplomatic solutions with North Korea, replied: "No".The agency's director, Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, called the test "a key milestone" in giving U.S. Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense ships an enhanced capability, but did not mention North Korea.
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