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US flies B-1 bombers over Korean peninsula again, flanked by South Korean and Japanese fighter jets

in ASIA/FAR EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The US military flew two Air Force B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday amid high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, South Korea’s military said. The two B-1B Lancer bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam. The US military said in a separate statement Japanese fighters had also joined the drill, making it the first nighttime combined exercise for the US bombers with fighters from Japan and South Korea. The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defences and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea. South Korean and US government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling party, which fell on Tuesday. US Air Force Major Patrick Applegate said: “Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators”. “This is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all of our allies anytime, anywhere”, the US release quoted him as saying.

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