US bombers overfly Korean peninsula in show of force
Seoul, South Korea - The US has flown two supersonic heavy bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force against Pyongyang, staging the first night-time joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea. Two B-1B Lancers based in Guam flew a mission in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan late Tuesday, the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.
“Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators,” Maj Patrick Applegate said in a statement.
South Korean defence authorities on Wednesday said the bombers staged a simulated air- to-ground missile firing drill with two South Korean fighters over the Sea of Japan. The four aircraft then flew across the peninsula and staged another round of a firing exercise over the Yellow Sea before the two B-IBs re- turned home, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
“This drill was part of a routine deployment training aimed at enhancing deterrence” against nuclear threats, the JCS said.
“Through the practice this time, South Korean and US air forces showed off the allies’ resolve for strong retaliation against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” it added.
The B-1Bs also conducted exercises with Japan’s Air Force in what the US statement called a “sequenced bilateral mission”.