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U.S. flies B-1B bombers over Korea as Trump discusses options

U.S. flies B-1B bombers over Korea as Trump discusses options

Posted October. 12, 2017 08:34,   

Updated October. 12, 2017 09:20


The U.S. Air Force flew two B-1B supersonic strategic bombers over the Korean Peninsula to conduct a drill of striking North Korea late on Tuesday, the founding anniversary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party. It was unusual for B-1B bombers to fly over the waters off the eastern and western coasts of the peninsula on a day of North Korea’s major anniversary. The drill is seen as ultra-strong warning against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile provocations, following the U.S. military’s a show of force in late September.

According to the South Korean military, the B-1B bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam on Tuesday afternoon before conducting a mock drill of striking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s office and the North’s nuclear and missile bases with long-range air-to-surface missiles in South Korea’s air defense zone for 160 minutes until 1:30 p.m. The South Korean Air Force’s two F-15K fighter jets protected the U.S. bombers, the South Korean military said. Before the drill, the bombers conducted a joint exercise with fighter jets of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force.

As the bombers were flexing their muscles, U.S. President Donald Trump attended a National Security Council meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford for a briefing on the North’s nuclear situation, the White House said. They discussed how to respond to any threat from North Korea and to prevent the North from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons. Although the White House did not reveal details, U.S. media speculated that the officials also discussed military options against the North.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com · Yong Park parky@donga.com