US gov't-N Korea

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Yonhap) -- The White House said Monday that the U.S. has dispatched advanced warplanes, including B-52 and B-2 bombers, to Korea in order to "reduce pressure on Seoul to take unilateral action" against North Korea as well as to send a warning signal to the communist nation.

"And we believe this has reduced the chance of miscalculation and provocation," press secretary Jay Carney said at a press briefing.

The U.S. has not seen any unusual military action by North Korea despite its near-daily threats to attack the U.S. and its regional allies.

"We haven't seen action to back up the rhetoric in the sense that we haven't seen, you know, significant changes in the North in terms of mobilizations or repositioning of forces and that is important to note," Carney said.

The U.S., however, remains vigilant, monitoring related situations diligently, he added.

As North Korea has issued a string of harsh military threats, the U.S. temporarily deployed Japan-based F-22 Raptor stealth fighters for the ongoing South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, after sending B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit bombers, both of which are capable of carrying nuclear bombs, to the Korean Peninsula.

Critics said the U.S. move has contributed to escalating tensions.

But the White House official said it was an important step to "reassure our allies, demonstrate our resolve to the North and reduce pressure on Seoul to take unilateral action."

The U.S. is apparently concerned about the possibility that the tensions on the peninsula will get out of control and trigger another major conflict.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye ordered the military Monday (local time) to deal sternly with any North Korean provocation without taking any "political considerations."

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