The United States is dispatching a bomber force to the island of Guam, in case it would be needed in the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
A senior Pentagon official tells V-O-A that 24 US bombers will be stationed on Guam. He says the move is meant as a warning to North Korea not to underestimate U-S military capabilities at a time when Washington is focused on a possible war with Iraq.
The official says this move is not related to Sunday's incident in which four North Korean fighter jets intercepted an American spy plane over the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula.
White House officials say the United States will formally protest the Sunday incident. A spokesman called it reckless behavior on the part of North Korea, adding that the United States is consulting with South Korea on how to formally protest the incident.
President Bush on Monday raised the possibility of using military force against North Korea, if diplomatic efforts to halt Pyongyang's nuclear development program fail. The president said he still is committed to a diplomatic solution in the crisis.