Jesse Johnson reports: North Korea lambasted the U.S. on Tuesday over the staging of what it called a “nuclear bomb-dropping drill” by flying a two B1-B strategic bombers close to its border with the South a day earlier.
In a report by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the North claimed the B-1B bombers, which are currently deployed to Guam, flew over South Korea and approached an area 80 km east of Gangneung, an eastern city near the Military Demarcation Line that serves as the border between the two Koreas.
Moon Sang-gyun, a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry, said the exercise took place on Monday but declined to give further details, Reuters reported Tuesday.
U.S. Pacific Command did not confirm or deny the joint exercises when contacted by The Japan Times via email.
“U.S. Pacific Command, through U.S. Pacific Air Forces, has maintained a rotational strategic bomber presence in the region for more than a decade,” spokeswoman Lt. Col Lori Hodge said.
“These Air Force aircraft and the men and women who fly and support them, provide a significant capability that enables our readiness and commitment to deterrence, provides assurances to our allies, and strengthens security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified government source in Seoul, said that two B-1Bs had arrived in the airspace over the Sea of Japan at around 10:30 a.m. Monday, five hours after the North test-fired a short-range ballistic missile.
The bombers were accompanied by South Korean F-15K fighter jets during the two-hour unannounced flight near and over the peninsula, the source said … (read more)
via The Japan Times