The US Air Force has flown two B-1B strategic bombers over Osan Air Base in South Korea, which is 120km from the border with North Korea.
The low-level flight in the vicinity of the airbase demonstrates the US commitment to the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) defence, and is show of force to North Korea after its recent underground nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area.
During the flight, which was conducted from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the B-1B strategic bombers were escorted by ROK’s F-15K fighter aircraft and US F-16 fighter aircraft.
US Forces Korea commander general Vincent K. Brooks said that North Korea’s blatant disregard for its international obligations, demands ROK and US forces continue to enhance military readiness to take actions as directed to deter North Korea.
“The United States and the Republic of Korea are taking actions every day to strengthen our Alliance and respond to North Korea’s continued aggressive behaviour.
“Today’s demonstration provides just one example of the full range of military capabilities in the deep resources of this strong alliance to provide and strengthen extended deterrence.
“The Alliance military forces remain ready to meet mutual defence obligations against threats to the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region.”
The B-1 Lancer is a four-engine supersonic variable-sweep wing, jet-powered heavy supersonic strategic bomber, which can cruise at a speed of Mach 2.