US show of force af­ter mis­sile test

Fly­over by bombers fol­low­ing lat­est weapons test by North Korea

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - STE­WART ALEXAN­DER

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.”

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