A Russian TU-95 bomber flies over around southern part of Japan in this pic from August 2017. Photo: Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/ via Reuters

Just as the US and South Korea conduct joint military exercises, drawing the ire of the North Korean regime, Russia has entered the arena, sending nuclear-capable bombers into the area.

The Tupolev-95MS bombers, code named “Bears” by NATO, flew over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, along with intelligence gathering aircraft, according to multiple media reports on Thursday.

In response, South Korea and Japan scrambled jets to escort the Russian aircraft.

“The US and South Korea holding yet more large-scale military and naval exercises does not help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“We urge all sides to exercise maximum caution. Given the arms build-up in the region, any rash move or even an unintended incident could spark a military conflict.”