U.S. Flies Bombers Over Korea as Trump Dis­cusses Op­tions


SEOUL (Dis­patches) - The U.S. mil­i­tary flew two strate­gic bombers over the Korean penin­sula in a show of force late on Tues­day, as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump met top de­fense of­fi­cials to dis­cuss how to re­spond to any threat from North Korea.

Ten­sions have soared be­tween the United States and North Korea fol­low­ing a se­ries of weapons tests by Py­ongyang and a string of in­creas­ingly bel­li­cose ex­changes be­tween Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has launched two mis­siles over Ja­pan and con­ducted its sixth nu­clear test in re­cent weeks as it fast ad­vances to­ward its goal of de­vel­op­ing a nu­cle­artipped mis­sile ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the U.S. main­land.

The two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fight­ers from the South Korean mil­i­tary after leav­ing their base in Guam, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a state­ment on Wednesday.

After en­ter­ing South Korean airspace, the two bombers car­ried out air-to-ground mis­sile drills in wa­ters off the east coast of South Korea, then flew over the South to wa­ters be­tween it and China to re­peat the drill, the re­lease said.

The U.S. mil­i­tary said in a sep­a­rate state­ment it con­ducted drills with Ja­panese fight­ers after the ex­er­cise with South Korea, mak­ing it the first time U.S. bombers have con­ducted train­ing with fight­ers from both Ja­pan and South Korea at night.

The U.S. bombers had taken off from the An­der­sen Air Force Base in Guam. In Au­gust, Py­ongyang threat­ened to fire intermediate-range mis­siles to­ward the vicin­ity of Guam, a U.S. Pa­cific ter­ri­tory that is fre­quently sub­jected to sabre-rat­tling from the North.

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