The US Air Force's (USAF) B-1B strategic bomber has flown over South Korea for the second time in show of force after North Korea claimed it tested a rocket engine.
The aircraft landed at Osan Air Base in South Korea after it performed a low-level flight over the air base, which is 120km from the border with North Korea. The landing is the first in the past 20 years.
The flight was conducted from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on 21 September, and demonstrates the US commitment to the Republic of Korea’s defence.
7th Air Force commander lieutenant general Thomas W. Bergeson said: “The bond between the United States and the Republic of Korea is ironclad and the strength of that commitment will not be shaken by North Korea’s aggressive behaviour.
“What we are showing today is just one tool we have to choose from a wide array of options.
"The alliance grows stronger every day and we remain prepared to defend and to preserve the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region.”
South Korea is facing a security crisis as a result of North Korea’s fifth nuclear experiment on 9 September and its tests of submarine-launched ballistic missiles and ballistic missiles.
Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force Operations commander lieutenant general Wang-keun Lee said: “The ROK-US Combined Air Forces, acutely aware of this climactic situation, maintains a close information-sharing and robust combined-operational capability.”
The B-1B can be fitted with both guided and unguided weapons and can deliver precision and non-precision weapons against any threat.
Image: A USAF B-1B Lancer performs a landing at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen.