US flies nuclear-capable bombers in new show of force against North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States sent nuclear-capable bombers to the Korean Peninsula on Friday in its latest show of force against North Korea, days after the North held anti- massive Americans in its capital.

The long-range B-52 bombers participated in joint aerial exercises with other US and South Korean fighter jets over the peninsula, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. The bomber flyby is the latest in a series of temporary US deployments of strategic assets to South Korea in response to North Korea’s efforts to expand its nuclear arsenal.

Two weeks ago, the United States deployed a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying around 150 Tomahawk missiles to South Korean waters for the first time in six years. The arrival of the USS Michigan came a day after North Korea resumed missile testing in protest at previous U.S.-South Korean drills it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the deployment of the B-52 bombers had boosted the visibility of US strategic assets on the peninsula. He said the allies have demonstrated their firm resolve to strengthen combined defense postures and will continue joint exercises involving US strategic bombers.

On Sunday, more than 120,000 North Koreans took part in mass rallies in Pyongyang to mark the 73rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War. During the rallies, officials and residents gave speeches swearing “ruthless revenge” against the United States during the war while accusing the United States of plotting an invasion of North Korea.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in a technical state of war. The United States stationed about 28,000 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against possible aggression from North Korea.

Since its June 15 launches of two short-range ballistic missiles, North Korea has conducted no further public weapons testing. But the deployment of American bombers could prompt him to throw weapons again in protest.

Improving the “regular visibility of US strategic assets” on the Korean Peninsula was part of agreements reached between US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at their summit in Washington in April. Biden said at the time that any North Korean nuclear attack on the United States or its allies “would lead to the end of any regime” taking such a step.

Since the start of 2022, North Korea has conducted more than 100 missile tests in an effort to expand its arsenal of nuclear-capable missiles targeting the continental United States and South Korea. The allies responded by expanding their military exercises.

In late May, a North Korean launch of a rocket carrying its first spy satellite ended in failure, with the rocket plunging into water shortly after liftoff. North Korea has since repeatedly said it would attempt a second launch, saying building a space-based surveillance system was crucial to deal with what it calls U.S. hostility.

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