Joint US Nuclear-capable Air Drill with Japan, S. Korea

October 19th, 2023 - by The Straits Times & Reuters & The Libertarian Institute

Militaries of South Korea, Japan and US
To Hold First Joint Aerial Drill
The Straits Times & Reuters

SEOUL (October 18, 2023) —South Korea, the United States and Japan will hold a joint aerial exercise near the Korean peninsula, which would be the first time the three countries are conducting such a drill, media reports said on Wednesday.

The three countries are likely to conduct the exercise on Sunday and are coordinating the locations, South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported, citing a government source.

Yonhap news agency also said the drill will likely be on Sunday and involve the US B-52 strategic bomber, as well as fighter jets of the three countries.

A South Korean Defence Ministry official declined to confirm or comment on the details of the aerial exercise. But the three countries are expanding three-way joint military exercises on the basis of an agreement by their leaders in August at the Camp David summit to bolster cooperation against North Korea’s threats, the official said.

The reported exercise would be the latest in a series of moves by the three countries to strengthen ties at a time of growing tensions with North Korea and China’s influence in the region.

General Kim Seung-kyum, who chairs the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a parliamentary hearing last week that the three countries were planning to stage joint aerial drills, local media reported.

The US nuclear-capable B-52 bomber, which is currently deployed in South Korea, made a rare flyover at a South Korean defence exhibition on Tuesday.

In a further sign of growing trilateral security cooperation, South Korea, the US and Japan have completed work on a three-way communications hotline, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Seoul official.

US Nuclear Bomber Lands in
S. Korea for the First Time in 30 Years
Kyle Anzalone / The Libertarian Institute

(October 18, 2023) — A B-52H Stratofortress will land in South Korea for the first time in three decades sometime this week. The US claims the bomber’s mission is to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. However, North Korea has warned that American military activity in the region has pushed the situation to the brink of a nuclear conflict.

On Monday, Maj. Rachel Buitrago, spokeswoman for the 7th Air Force at Osan Air Base south of Seoul, said, “These flyovers, air demonstrations and static displays, including the landing for the B-52 on the peninsula, is part of our continued pledge to promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.”

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has ramped up military activity in East Asia with the goal of intimidating North Korea and China. Washington has inked agreements with Seoul to deploy more arms platforms to South Korea that are capable of launching nuclear weapons.

Just before the Pentagon announced that the B-52 – which is capable of dropping nuclear bombs – will land at an unnamed South Korean airfield, Washington sent the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to a South Korean port.

At an address to the UN General Assembly last month, Kim Song, Pyongyang’s representative at the body, blasted Washington for pushing the situation to the brink of nuclear war. “Owing to the reckless and continued hysteria of nuclear showdown on the part of the US and its following forces, the year 2023 has been recorded as an extremely dangerous year that the military security situation in and around the Korean peninsula was driven closer to the brink of a nuclear war,” he said. “Due to [Seoul’s] sycophantic and humiliating policy of depending on outside forces, the Korean peninsula is in a hair-trigger situation with imminent danger of nuclear war.”

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