United States flies bombers over Korean peninsula with South Korean, Japanese fighter jets

Alicia Cross
October 13, 2017

The two B-1B bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a news release on Wednesday.

North Korea watchers have been on alert for a possible provocation by the communist state in the days surrounding a key holiday Tuesday to mark the founding anniversary of its ruling party.

Pyongyang conducted its fifth nuclear test on the anniversary of the founding day of North Korea past year.

The bilateral training mission between the U.S. B-1B bombers and South Korean F-15K fighter jets on Tuesday night followed a September 23 mission in which USA bombers and fighter escorts used pre-dawn hours to fly to the farthest point of the border between North and South Korea by any US aircraft this century.

The Pacific Air Force said the bombers, assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, also trained with Japanese fighter jets on Tuesday, "making this the first time" the Lancers have conducted combined training with the allied nations at night.

Trump slammed more than two decades of USA policy toward North Korea on Twitter on Monday, saying past action to quell the crisis "didn't work". Pyongyang belatedly responded by relocating some of its military aircraft to its east coast, the National Intelligence Service then said.

Ri said North Korea is nearing its goal to achieve full nuclear capability to counter any US threat, calling it the "real balance of power with the United States" and describing the weapons as a "sword of justice".

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Jimmy Carter, the 93-year-old former U.S. president, has reportedly indicated that he is willing to travel to Pyongyang to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to head off a military clash in Northeast Asia.

The South Korean Unification Ministry could not confirm that the complex has been reopened, but did say that recent bus movements and illuminated street lamps in the site have been observed.

Outside governments and global human rights organizations say Kim rules as a tyrant over a largely malnourished and abused population while enjoying a luxurious lifestyle backed up by a weapons program almost advanced enough to viably target the USA mainland with nuclear-tipped missiles. The US has repeatedly ruled out negotiations with North Korea.

The meetings come amid growing tension after the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation test early last month.

Speaking during a parliamentary audit Thursday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said, "We will beef up our leading role to generate an environment in which denuclearization talks can resume".

The North's official media touted the party's byungjin policy - which pushes for simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and the economy - and added that military power was "the guarantee for victory".

"The U.S. continues to kick up the racket of frantic nuclear war drills even though the situation on the Korean peninsula is on the verge of the outbreak of a worldwide thermonuclear war", the commentary read.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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