The US Air Force has announced it’s flown several B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korean airspace this week as part of a massive exercise demonstrating the American commitment to our Asian allies and showing North Korea that our forces in the area are ready and waiting for the order to strike.
More than 200 aircraft involved including the bombers
The United States began a week-long set of drills on Monday including more than 200 aircraft. Among the planes used were six F-22 and 18 F-35’s, some of the most advanced aircraft in the world, in an apparent show of force that was meant to showcase American power and respond to the increasingly threatening tests and maneuvers by the North Korean government.
“Through the drill, the South Korean and U.S. air forces displayed the allies’ strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
North Korean state media was quick to pan the exercise, referring to it as “US imperialist warmongers’ extremely reckless war hysteria,” and called President Donald Trump “insane” for his actions on the Korean peninsula.
A growing threat
North Korea has grown increasingly bold over the past year and most recently test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile which splashed down in the Sea of Japan. That rocket, known as the Hwasong-15, is believed to have a range of roughly 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), which would put cities as far away as Washington DC within range of a nuclear strike.
Before the launch of the Hwasong-15, the North Korean government also detonated a massive thermonuclear bomb in September, their most powerful one to date, and tested two other ICBM platforms over the course of the summer.
In light of the recent escalations by both sides, many countries have come forward to urge restraint, fearing that one wrong move could lead to nuclear war which would end millions of innocent lives. When asked about the recent appearance of US bombers, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, “We hope relevant parties can maintain restraint and not do anything to add tensions on the Korean peninsula.”
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