US bombers drill near Korea DMZ in show of force

2017-07-08 09:39
Lancer bomber. (AFP)

Lancer bomber. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - US bombers carried out a rare live fire drill in South Korea on Saturday, flying close to the DMZ in a show of force after Pyongyang's latest missile test, the South's defence ministry said.

The exercise by two B-1B Lancers, flown from Andersen Air Base in Guam, was part of a 10-hour mission with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets in response to a "series of increasingly escalatory actions by North Korea including the intercontinental ballistic missile" on Tuesday, US Pacific Air Forces said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the long-range heavy bombers flew close to the tense and heavily militarised land border with the North before turning back.

The exercise aimed to "sternly respond to the series of North Korea's ballistic missile launches", the South's air force said in a statement.

Four US and South Korean jet fighters joined the live fire drill, which was conducted at a range in Yeongwol County, about 80km south of the inter-Korean border, the South's air force said.

The long-range heavy aircraft each dropped a 900kg laser-guided bunker-busting smart bomb, Yonhap said.

The US statement said the B-1Bs released "inert" weapons at the Pilsung Range.

The drill simulated the two US bombers destroying enemy ballistic missile batteries and South Korean jets mounting precision strikes against underground enemy command posts, the South's air force said.

Punish

"Through this drill, the South Korean and US air forces demonstrated strong determination to thoroughly punish the enemy for its provocative acts, and showed off their capability to pulverise enemy command posts," it said.

Lieutenant General Thomas Bergeson, US Forces Korea deputy commander, said the mission demonstrated the allies remain "prepared to use the full range of capabilities to defend and to preserve the security of the Korean peninsula and region".

En route back to Guam, the B-1Bs flew and integrated with Japanese fighter jets over the East China Sea, US Pacific Air Forces said in a press statement.

"The US-Japan alliance and the relationship between our militaries are stronger than they have ever been," said Lieutenant General Jerry P Martinez, US Forces Japan commander.

"We continue to train with our Japanese allies to ensure we are ready to defend ourselves from attack", he said.

North Korea on Tuesday test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, an apparent game-changer in its confrontation with Washington over its nuclear and missile programmes.

In response, US and South Korean soldiers fired ballistic missiles simultaneously in a drill on Wednesday, simulating an attack on the North's leadership "as a strong message of warning", the South's military said at the time.

The US Missile Defence Agency said on Friday it would soon test an anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska, days after the North demonstrated its arsenal was capable of striking parts of Alaska with the ICBM test.

Read more on:    south korea  |  us  |  north korea  |  military  |  north korea nuclear programme
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Trauma/Emergency RN

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R300 000.00 - R400 000.00 Per Year

Trainee Auditor

Cape Town
Certified Master Auditors (South Africa) Inc.
R5 000.00 - R15 000.00 Per Month

New Works Co-Ordinator

Western Cape
Odwyer Personnel
R14 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.