US sends B52 bombers to show support to S Korea
SEOUL - Agance France-Presse
This picture shows a military drill of the North Korean Army. Tension between Seoul and Pyongyang has increased after the North’s nuclear test. AFP photoThis picture shows a military drill of the North Korean Army. Tension between Seoul and Pyongyang has increased after the North’s nuclear test.
The United States said it was flying training missions of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea, in a clear signal to North Korea at a time of escalating military tensions.
The flights, part of annual joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises, should be seen as underscoring U.S. commitment and capacity to defend Seoul against an attack from the North, Pentagon spokesman George Little said March 18.
In response to U.N. sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test last month, North Korea has warned of a “second Korean war” and threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the South and the United States. Little said a B-52 from Andersen Air Force base in Guam, flew over South Korea on March 8 as part of a military exercise dubbed “Foal Eagle.”
“The B-52 Stratofortress can perform a variety of missions including carrying precision-guided conventional or nuclear ordnance,” he said on March 18. B-52s have taken part in annual exercises before, but Little said the Pentagon wanted to underline their use this time given the current, heightened tensions, and he added that further B-52 flights would be carried out.
“We’re drawing attention to the fact that we have extended deterrence capabilities that we believe are important to demonstrate in the wake of recent North Korean rhetoric,” he said.
That message was echoed in Seoul by visiting Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who promised to provide South Korea with every available military resource “offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.”