The US and South Korean militaries are now participating in an air-power exercise on the Korean Peninsula involving a record number of stealth jets and an increased pace of simulated bomb runs.
It is quite unusual for the U.S.to send its B-1B aircraft stationed in Guam to Korea on two consecutive days.
A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off as part of a joint aerial drills called "Vigilant Ace" between the U.S. and South Korea at the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek on December 6.
The five-day drills that began Monday involve more than 200 aircraft, including six U.S. F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighters.
They entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) through the sky over the waters south of Jeju Island and conducted simulated bombing drills over the Yellow Sea near North Korea and China, according to the official.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday expressed concerns over the continued deployment of US strategic assets.
USA military drills on the Korean Peninsula were always a fairly common occurrence, and one which fuels a lot of tension.in the region. "The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people", said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement.
North Korean state media - which describes the B-1B Lancer as a nuclear strategic bomber - denounced the exercise over the weekend.
North Korea's foreign ministry blamed the drills and "confrontational warmongering" by U.S. officials for making war inevitable.
Quoting an unnamed spokesman from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (CPRC and DPRK, respectively), KCNA referred to the US and South Korean military might as "puppet forces" and warned that a planned December 4. aerial drill is a "war rehearsal [that] is just a grave military provocation".
The ministry's spokesman labeled the United States behavior "confrontational warmongering", saying they are pushing Korea to the brink of war.
Nauert said North Korea was "not showing any interest in sitting down and having any kind of serious conversations when they continue to fire off ballistic missiles".
U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at the weekend the possibility of war was "increasing every day".
"The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?" it said in a statement carried by North Korea's official KCNA news agency.
But even though both sides make overtures toward war, it's far from a sure thing.