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U.S. bombers’ nighttime flight delivers message to N. Korea

AFP-Jiji SEOUL (AFP-Jiji) — The United States has flown two supersonic heavy bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against Pyongyang, staging the first nighttime joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea.

Two B-1B Lancers based in Guam flew a mission in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan late Tuesday, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.

“Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the U.S., Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators,” Maj. Patrick Applegate said in a statement.

South Korean defense authorities on Wednesday said the bombers staged a simulated air-to-ground missile firing drill with two South Korean fighters over the Sea of Japan.

The four aircraft then flew across the peninsula and staged another round of a firing exercise over the Yellow Sea before the two B-IBs returned home, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

“This drill was part of a routine deployment training aimed at enhancing deterrence” against the North’s nuclear threats, the JCS said in a statement.

“Through the practice this time, South Korean and U.S. air forces showed off the allies’ resolve for strong retaliation against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” it added.

The B-1Bs also conducted exercises with Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force in what the U.S. statement called a “sequenced bilateral mission.”

Tensions over North Korea’s weapons program have soared in recent months with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test last month.

Its actions were in defiance of multiple sets of United Nations sanctions, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to threaten military action against the regime.

The exercises came as a U.S. nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, the USS Tuckson, made a call in South Korea’s southern port of Jinhae, the U.S. Pacific Command said.Speech

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