In yet another sign of the troubling escalation on the Korean peninsula, the United States is sending a squadron of B1 Bombers to South Korea. The bombers are being sent, ostensibly, for join aerial drills, but there is little doubt that North Korea and its ally, China, are getting the message. The question is, will the message de-escalate the situation or further escalate it.
The US will deploy B-1B Lancer bombers over Korean Peninsula for joint aerial drills with U.S. and South Korean fighters, Yonhap News reports, citing military authorities.
The B-1B squadron will fly from the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam today, and will be deployed to participate in the United States Air Force’s “Vigilant Ace” which as we reported over the weekend is the “largest-ever” joint US aerial drill to be held together with South Korea. The squadron of tactical bombers will practice bombing runs under the cover of South Korean warplanes.
As Yonhap adds, “as a strategic weapon, the B-1B is participating in this training, with the intensity of the pressure felt by North Korea seemingly near its peak. B-1B flew over the Korean peninsula on February 2, ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit.”
In September, B-1Bs and F-15C Eagle fighters traveled the farthest north of the demilitarized zone any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast this century. This promoted North Korea to say it was within its rights to shoot down U.S. warplanes flying in international airspace.
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