The Wall Street Journal: Tensions escalate with North Korea as U.S. planes patrol coast, Pyongyang warns it will attack

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In a new escalation of hostility between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea’s foreign minister warned in a United Nations speech Saturday that a rocket attack on the U.S. mainland was “inevitable” while U.S. warplanes flew off the east coast of North Korea in an explicit show of force.

A total of eight U.S. aircraft flew close to the North Korean coastline while remaining in international airspace, the Pentagon said in a statement, adding it was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea that U.S. warplanes have flown since North Korea started testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons in the 1990s.

“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White. “We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”

The moves on Saturday capped a week of growing hostility between the two countries and directly involving their top leaders. The rising animosity has spurred world leaders to call for restraint and diplomacy, but neither capital so far has shown an inclination to back down from the standoff.

An expanded version of this report appears on wsj.com