US show of force after missile test
Flyover by bombers following latest weapons test by North Korea
The United States has flown two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test.
The US also said it had conducted a successful test of a missile defence system located in Alaska.
The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South Korean capital of Seoul before returning to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.
It said the mission was a response to North Korea’s two missile tests this month.
Analysts said flight data from the North’s second test, conducted on Friday night, showed that a broader part of the mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of Pyongyang’s weapons.
Vice-president Mike Pence said during a visit to Estonia yesterday that the US and its allies plan to increase pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear programme.
“The continued provocations by the rogue regime in North Korea are unacceptable and the US is going to continue to marshal the support of nations across the region and across the world to further isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically,” Mr Pence said.
“But the era of strategic patience is over. The president of the United States is leading a coalition of nations to bring pressure to bear until that time that North Korea will permanently abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.”
General Terrence J O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, said: “Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”