The statement follows an earlier US announcement that nuclear-capable B-52 bombers participated in the joint military drills.
Pyongyang uses the US nuclear arsenal as a justification for its own push for nuclear weapons. It claims that US nuclear firepower is a threat to its existence and provocation.
The two Missouri-based stealth bombers used in the South Korean drills probably weren’t nuclear-armed, but experts say they’re the aircraft that would likely be sent if Washington ever decides it does want to drop nuclear bombs on North Korea. The United States doesn’t forward-deploy nuclear weapons in South Korea, Okinawa, Guam or Hawaii.
‘‘The B-2 can reach targets from North Korea to Iran directly from Missouri, which is what the United States did in the early stages of operations against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq,’’ analyst Jeffrey Lewis wrote in a post on ArmsControlWonk.com earlier this month.
AP writers Jon Chol Jin in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sam Kim in Seoul and Eric Talmadge in Tokyo contributed to this report.