News ID: 196244
Published: 0557 GMT 08 Jul 2017

US bombers fly near North Korean border

US bombers fly near North Korean border
A US Air Force B-1B Lancer prepares for take-off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to conduct a sequenced bilateral mission with South Korean F-15 and Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets, July 7, 2017. /AFP

“US bombers carried out a rare live fire drill in South Korea Saturday, flying close to the DMZ in a show of force after Pyongyang's latest missile test,” the South's Defense Ministry said.

“After the drill, the B-1B Lancers, deployed from the Anderson Air Base in Guam, flew close to the tense and heavily militarized land border with the North before turning back,” the Yonhap news agency reported.

The exercise aimed to “sternly respond to the series of North Korea's ballistic missile launches,” the South's military 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, some 80 kilometers south of the inter-Korean border,” the military said.

 

North Korean soldiers (R) look at the South side while US Vice President Mike Pence (not pictured) visits the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea. /AFP

 

The long-range heavy aircraft each dropped a 907.1-kilos laser-guided bunker-busting smart bomb.

“The drill simulated the two US bombers destroying enemy ballistic missile batteries and South Korean jets mounting precision strikes against underground enemy command posts,” it 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 programs.

In response, US and South Korean soldiers fired ballistic missiles simultaneously in a drill 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 Defense Agency said, “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.”

   
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