The U.S. Military responded to North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches this week by conducting separate military drills using supersonic bombers with both South Korea and Japan.
The air drills came after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un conducted an ICBM launch this week that South Korea said had the capability to hit anywhere in the U.S.
“We are aware of the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch and are consulting closely with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, as well as other regional allies and partners,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement following the launch. “The United States condemns these actions and calls on the DPRK to refrain from any further unlawful and destabilizing acts. While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, or territory, or to our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation. The U.S. commitments to the defense of the ROK and Japan remain ironclad.”
The U.S. Air Force responded with a joint air training in the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone using B-1B strategic bombers and F-16s alongside South Korean F-35s, which were purchased from the United States.
“This training demonstrated once again the ROK-US combined defense capability and posture based on the alliance’s overwhelming power, and the U.S. ironclad commitment to providing extended deterrence in the defense of the Korean Peninsula,” U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement. “In addition, this training improved the combined operations capability by mastering procedures to promptly deploy the U.S. extended deterrence asset on the Korean Peninsula and respond.”
The statement said that South Korea was continuing to develop their military capabilities to respond to hostilities from North Korea should a situation unfold.
On Nov 19, #JASDF #F2, and #USAF #B1 conducted tactical exercises in the airspace, northwest of Kyushu, to mutually reaffirm the readiness under the ironclad #JapanUSAlliance. JASDF and USAF routinely work together to maintain high levels of operational readiness. pic.twitter.com/DqVmGo6XAb
— Japan Air Self-Defense Force (@JASDF_PAO_ENG) November 19, 2022
We. Fly. Together. | 같이납시다
🇰🇷 #ROKUSAlliance 🇺🇸 https://t.co/Fa1XryMMBE
— U.S. Forces Korea (@USForcesKorea) November 19, 2022
The B-1B reportedly “irks” Kim because of its ability to effectively deliver any weapon in the U.S. arsenal and carry a large payload.
“Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time,” the U.S. Strategic Command said in a statement.
“The B-1’s can carry Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, 2,000-pound class Joint Direct Attack Munitions and the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, giving it an advanced stand-off, counter-ship capability,” the statement added. “It also has an advanced self-protection suite and is able to transit at supersonic speeds to enhance offensive and defensive capabilities reassuring allies and aggressively deterring adversaries in the region.”