The US will not accept North Korea as a nuclear power, the White House asserted as the Pentagon took steps along with its regional allies to thwart off any misadventure from Pyongyang.
"The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States," the White House press secretary, Jay Carney told reporters on Monday.
The US he said announced last week to beef up its missile defense system in view of the increasing threat from North Korea.
"We continue to work with all of our allies and partners on this issue to pressure and isolate North Korea, to make clear to North Korea what its options are and how it needs to proceed in order to rejoin the community of nations. And our position is quite firm on that," he said.
Noting that the US President, Barack Obama, and his national security team is focused on this issue, Carney said the US leadership at the United Nations Security Council, a resolution sanctioning North Korea passed unanimously with Russian and Chinese support is not insignificant occurrence.
"The fact of the matter is we remain committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. And this means deterring North Korean aggression, protecting our allies, and the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Pentagon press secretary, George Little, said the US is committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, adding that the B52 flights are participating in the Foal Eagle training in the region.
"Those flights are part of the US Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP). On March 8th, a B-52 bomber from Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, conducted a training flight over the Republic of Korea," he said.
"This mission highlights the extended deterrence and conventional capabilities of the B-52 Stratofortress while participating in exercises such as Foal Eagle. This flight demonstrated one of the many Alliance capabilities available for the defense of the Republic of Korea," he said.
"These CBP missions are routine and reiterate the US commitment to the security of our allies and partners. Despite challenges with fiscal constraints, training opportunities remain important to ensure US and ROK (Republic of Korea) forces are battle-ready and trained to employ airpower to deter aggression, defend the Republic of Korea, and defeat any attack against the Alliance," George Little said during an off camera news conference.
The CBP is an ongoing US Pacific Command mission to bolster US commitment to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region while allowing units to become familiar with operating in the Pacific Theater from a deployed location, he added.
Noting that CBP has been going on since 2004 when Pacific Air Forces began to routinely deploy strategic bomber aircraft to Guam on a rotational basis, Little said the B-52 Stratofortress can perform a variety of missions including carrying precision-guided conventional or nuclear ordnance.
"We will continue to fly these training missions as part of our on-going actions to enhance our strategic posture in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
The US Pacific Command (USPACOM) has maintained a deployed strategic bomber presence in the region for nearly a decade. On average, USPACOM conducts one to two CBP missions per month. The last one to Korea was on January 15; it was a B52 flight. Typically, a CBP mission varies between one to two aircraft plus an enroute aerial refueler.