North Korea has warned it has the right to shoot down US jets in response to Donald Trump's bellicose threats - yet it would not be the first time Pyongyang has carried out such an act.
Ri Yong-ho, the North Korean foreign minister, announced Pyongyang's aggressive new stance in New York, saying the US president had "declared war" by tweeting that Kim Jong-un and his regime "won't be around much longer".
Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew off the coast of North Korea in a show of force at the weekend and Mr Ri said the country reserved the right to defend itself even against US aircraft that do not enter its airspace.
The threat, which followed a North Korean propaganda video that showed US aircraft being blown up, recalled an incident in 1969 when North Korean fighters shot down a US surveillance aircraft in international airspace in 1969, killing the 31 crew aboard.
Two North Korean Air Force Mig-21s attacked an unarmed and unescorted US Navy Lockheed EC-121M reconnaissance aircraft around 90 nautical miles off the coast of North Korea. The US military staged a show of force in the Sea of Japan, including resuming reconnaissance flights, but the administration of President Richard Nixon took no offensive action against North Korea.
Fifteen months earlier, North Korean patrol ships also attacked and boarded the USS Pueblo as it operated 1 nautical mile outside the 12-nautical-mile boundary for territorial waters. One of the 83 crew was killed and the others spent more than a year in captivity before being released.
Should North Korea attempt to destroy US aircraft today, it would almost certainly do so with a surface-to-air missile, analysts believe.
"North Korea has one of the densest air defence systems in the world, ranging from short-range missiles and anti-aircraft guns to long-range missiles", said Lance Gatling, a defence analyst and president of Tokyo-based Nexial Research Inc.
The most advanced anti-aircraft missile that the North has in its armoury is the KN-06, a domestically developed version of the "extremely capable" Russian S-300 SAM, Mr Gatling told The Telegraph.
Details of the capabilities of the system are unclear as only two test launches have been detected, although North Korean state media announced in May this year that "glitches" with the weapon had been solved and that it was being deployed across the country.
"Clearly these missiles can fly out into international airspace off the east coast of the peninsula, although it must be pointed out that patrolling in international airspace is not a breach of any laws; firing a missile at a target in international airspace is an act of war, and would be treated as such", Mr Gatling added.
The countermeasures that are available to the B-1B bomber are classified, but the aircraft and its escorting fighters are equipped with a variety of systems designed to jam incoming missiles.
Any offensive launch would have been instantly detected, Mr Gatling added, and the fighters would have been carrying ordinance designed to eliminate ground-based radar units that would be guiding the inbound missiles.
Mr Gatling believes North Korea is unlikely to try to intercept US fighters with its own air force. "There are a multitude of issues with the North Korean Air Force", he said, pointing out that the newest fighters in North Korea are 1980s-era Mig-29s.
"They have a handful of advanced aircraft, but their pilots only fly for a few hours every year because of a shortage of aviation fuel and they cannot test-fire missiles because they have so few.
"So their equipment is dated, their crews are very poorly trained and they would be severely outclassed in any confrontation with US front-line fighters", he added.