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U.S. flies B-1B bombers over Korea ahead of Trump’s visit

U.S. flies B-1B bombers over Korea ahead of Trump’s visit

Posted November. 04, 2017 07:21,   

Updated November. 04, 2017 07:43


The United States flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula Thursday, just a day before President Donald Trump embarks on his first official visit to Asia starting in Hawaii.

According to the military authorities Thursday, two B-1B Lancers took off from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, and entered from the East Sea to fly over the Korean Peninsula in the afternoon of Thursday. The pair of bombers then conducted sequenced bilateral missions with two South Korean F-16K fighter jets. Under the escort of South Korean fighter jets, the U.S. bombers also simulated dropping bombs on key North Korean targets such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s office in Pyongyang set up on the Pilseung shooting range in Gangwon Province. Upon completion of drills, the aircraft returned to their respective home stations, South Korea’s military confirmed.

It is in only twelve days that the B-1B Lancers flew over the Korean Peninsula since they conducted a flyover at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2017, which was held at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam City on Oct. 21. They also flew over the Korean Peninsula twice each in September and October. Some speculate that Pentagon may choose to send the Lancers again on next Tuesday and Wednesday to coincide with President Trump’s visit to South Korea in a move to demonstrate Trump’s strong will to strengthen pressure on North Korea.

On the same day, North Korea slammed the exercise mentioning the detailed flight patch of the B-1B bombers through its state-run Korean Central News Agency. “The reality clearly shows that the gangster-like U.S. imperialists are the very one who is aggravating the situation of the Korean Peninsula and seeking to ignite a nuclear war,” the news outlet said.

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com