US deploys B-52 bomber in show of force over North Korea nuclear test

The B-52 bomber is capable of carrying nuclear weapons (file image) Credit: Reuters

The US sent a B-52 bomber on a low-level flight in South Korean airspace in a show of force following North Korea's nuclear test.

The B-52 was joined by two fighter planes - a US F-16 and a South Korean F-1 - as it flew over Osan Air Base near Seoul, according to a US military statement.

The flight was "in response to recent provocative action by North Korea", the statement said.

The B-52 is based in Guam and is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

North Korea conducted a nuclear test - its fourth - on Wednesday last week, angering the US and China.

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, has maintained the test was of a hydrogen bomb and said it was a self-defensive step against a US threat of nuclear war.

Experts believe the North's nuclear test, which produced a seismic tremor of 5.1, was too small to be a proper hydrogen bomb test.