The United States flew two B-52 strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons for a rare joint mission with Japan's Air Self-Defense Force in the skies near North Korea in August, the U.S. Air Force confirmed Wednesday.

"Two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress' assigned to 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, flew from Barksdale to conduct training with two Koku-Jieitai (Air Self-Defense Force) F-15 fighter jets over the Sea of Japan, Aug. 22, 2017," U.S. Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge told The Japan Times in an email.

The U.S. military said that while it does not maintain log records of past B-52 training operations, the August mission was the first in the last year.