Ja­pan fight­ers, US bombers con­duct ex­er­cise off the Korean Penin­sula

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

TOKYO — Two Ja­panese fighter jets and two US bombers con­ducted a joint ex­er­cise off the Korean Penin­sula on Sun­day, Ja­panese De­fense Min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida said.

The joint drill, by two F-2 fight­ers of the Ja­pan Air SelfDe­fense Force and two B-1 bombers of the US Air Force, was “part of the con­crete ac­tion agreed by Ja­panese and US lead­ers at their sum­mit meet­ing on May 26,” said Kishida.

He also said that the drill was con­ducted un­der “the se­vere se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in­clud­ing the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea’s lat­est mis­sile launch”, and aimed to fur­ther strengthen de­ter­rence and cop­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of the Ja­pan-US al­liance and show Ja­pan’s will and ca­pac­ity to sta­bi­lize the re­gion.

Kishida dou­bles as de­fense and for­eign min­is­ter af­ter To­momi Inada an­nounced her res­ig­na­tion on Fri­day over a coverup scan­dal.

The B-1B flight was in di­rect re­sponse to Fri­day’s mis­sile test and the July 3 launch of the Hwa­song-14 rocket, said a state­ment from the US Air Force on Sun­day. The Repub­lic of Korea air force said the flight was con­ducted early on Sun­day.

The bombers took off from a US air base in Guam, and were joined by Ja­panese and ROK fighter jets dur­ing the ex­er­cise, km ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-un per­son­ally su­per­vised the mid­night test launch of the mis­sile on Fri­day night and said it was a “stern warn­ing” for the United States that it would not be safe from de­struc­tion if it tries to at­tack, the DPRK’s of­fi­cial KCNA news agency said.

DPRK state tele­vi­sion broad­cast pic­tures of the launch, show­ing the mis­sile lift­ing off in a fiery blast in dark­ness and Kim cheer­ing with mil­i­tary aides.

The Hwa­song-14, named af­ter the Korean word for Mars, reached an al­ti­tude of 3,725 km and flew 998 km for 47 min­utes and 12 sec­onds be­fore land­ing in the waters off the Korean Penin­sula’s east coast, KCNA said.

West­ern ex­perts said cal­cu­la­tions based on that flight data and es­ti­mates from the US, Ja­panese and South Korean mil­i­taries showed the mis­sile could have been ca­pa­ble of go­ing as far into the United States as Den­ver and Chicago.

the dis­tance flown by the DPRK’s Hwa­song-14 rocket


A cou­ple walk past burn­ing ve­hi­cles af­ter a sui­cide car bomb at­tack on a pop­u­lar mall in Mo­gadishu, So­ma­lia, on Sun­day. A po­lice of­fi­cer said a car bomb blast near a po­lice sta­tion in So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal has killed at least five peo­ple and wounded at least 13 oth­ers. Most of the vic­tims were civil­ians. So­ma­lia-based ex­trem­ist group al-Shabab of­ten car­ries out deadly bomb­ings in Mo­gadishu.

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