US bombers over­fly Korean penin­sula in show of force

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -

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," Ma­jor 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 (East Sea) .

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 re­turned home, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

"This drill was part of a rou­tine de­ploy­ment train­ing aimed at en­hanc­ing de­ter­rence" against the North's nu­clear threats, the JCS said in a st at em en t .

"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".

Ten­sions over North Kor ea's weapons pro­gramme have soared in re­cent months with Py­ongyang launch­ing a flurry of mis­siles and con­duct­ing its sixth and most pow­er­ful nu­clear test last month.

Its ac­tions were in de­fi­ance of mul­ti­ple sets of United Na­tions sanc­tions, prompt­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to threaten mil­i­tary ac­tion against the regime.

The ex­er­cises came as a US nu­clear-powered fas­tat­tack sub­ma­rine, the USS Tuck­son, made a call in South Korea's south­ern port of Jin­hae, the US Pa­cific Com­mand said.

It did not say when the Hawaii-based sub­ma­rine with a crew of around 150 would de­part the penin­sul a.

The last flight by US bombers was 17 days ear­lier when four US F-35B stealth fighter jets and two B-1Bs flew over the penin­sul a.

The North's mis­sile and nu­clear ca­pa­bil­i­ties have made sig­nif­i­cant progress un­der leader Kim Jong-Un, who on Satur­day told party of­fi­cials that the coun­try's atomic weapons were a "trea­sured sword" to pro­tect it from ag­gres­sion.

(AP File)

In this June 20, 2017 file photo pro­vided by South Korean De­fense Min­istry, U.S. Air Force B1B bombers, top, and sec­ond from top, and South Korean fighter jets F-15K fly over the Korean Penin­sula, South Korea. A South Korean law­maker said Tues­day, Oct. 10, 2017, that North Korean hack­ers may have stolen highly clas­si­fied mil­i­tary doc­u­ments that in­clude U.S.South Korean wartime "de­cap­i­ta­tion strike" plans against the North, ac­cord­ing to South Korean me­dia re­ports.

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