The United States reminded North Korea of the weapons it has to attack the rogue nation Friday as it sent two B-1 bombers into the air over the Korean Peninsula to conduct live-fire drills.
From Western Journalism
The Guam-based bombers were joined by U.S. and South Korean fighters in an exercise that simulated the destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities. Japanese fighter jets also accompanied the American bombers after the drill was completed.
— U.S. Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) July 8, 2017
The Air Force, in a statement, called the mission a “demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies.”
The exercise came days after North Korea successfully tested an ICBM that some experts say can reach Hawaii or Alaska.
“North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland,” said Gen. Terrence O’ Shaughnessy, the Pacific Air Forces commander.
“Let me be clear: If called upon, we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces,” he said.
“South Korea and U.S. air forces will immediately respond to enemy provocation in any form, anytime and anywhere,” said South Korean air force operational commander Lieutenant-General Won In Chu.
U.S. officials said the bombers “practiced attack capabilities by releasing inert weapons at the Pilsung Range.”
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the bombers flew along the Demilitarized Zone between South Korea and North Korea before ending their 10-hour mission.
On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that if existing diplomatic efforts to convince North Korea to cease its aggressive military program fail, there would not be many good options left.
The U.S. also announced Friday that it will soon conduct a flight test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is designed to protect against short-range missiles.
The THAAD can be used to detect, track and engage a target in a test that will take place near Kodiak, Alaska, officials said.