After President Donald Trump was advised by his national security on how to respond to North Korea’s recent missile tests, “in a show of force” the US has flown two supersonic B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula, despite North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s threats to shoot them down.
This particular operation was the first time that US Pacific fighter jets, B1-B Lancers on this occasion, have conducted combined training with Japanese and Korean fighter aircraft at night according to a statement from the US military. The move came just days after Trump cryptically tweeted ‘Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,’ on Saturday. He continued that it ‘hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!’
When the two bombers entered South Korean airspace on Tuesday night, they carried out air-to-ground missile drills off the east coast before flying south and repeating the drills between South Korea and China. According to the South Korean military, the drills were part of a regular exercise to bolster military defences and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea.
Patrick Applegate, a US Airforce Major, said in a statement “flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators.” The release continued, “this is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all of our allies anytime, anywhere.”
The pair of US Pacific Command B-1B Lancers took off from a base in Guam and were soon accompanied by two South Korean F-15K fighters, all of which ran the risk of being targeted by North Korea after the country’s Foreign Minister, Ri Yong-Ho, claimed last month that US had “declared war” on them.
“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” Ri explained. However, the US and North Korea have still technically been at war since 1953, as only an armistice was signed which ended of the Korean war in a stalemate.