The U.S.’ B-52H bomber flew to the Korean Peninsula on Monday and conducted joint air drills with South Korean Air Force’s fighter planes. It has been three months since the last mobilization of B-52H capable of nuclear armament to the peninsula.
On Friday, the unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 Reaper, known as the ‘assassin in the sky,’ and the B-1B strategic bomber, also called the ‘swan of death,’ were simultaneously deployed. Showing off such extended deterrence against North Korea, which is equivalent to the ongoing deployment of the U.S. strategic assets, is deemed as an increased level of warning against the North Korean leadership that threatened provocations in response to the Freedom Shield joint drills beginning on Monday.
According to the South Korean military, B-52H deployed to the Korean Peninsula on Monday joined South Korean fighter planes F-15K and KF-16 in joint air drills over the Yellow Sea. B-52H also flew with F-22 Raptor, the U.S. Air Force’s most powerful stealth bomber, to South Korea to conduct joint drills with the South Korean Air Force in December when the North threatened to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a normal angle. “The U.S. is keeping a promise that more strategic assets of the country will be mobilized to the Korean Peninsula in terms of frequency and strength,” said a military source.
South Korea and the U.S. are planning on the more frequent deployment of the U.S. strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula, not only during the Freedom Shield drills but also before and after it, to show off deterrence against North Korea. It was reported that the Nimitz, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the U.S., will be mobilized around March 28. “The upcoming drills will prove that the U.S.’ defense promise of providing extended deterrence (nuclear umbrella) was not an empty word,” a government source said.
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