(FILE) A US Air Force's B-52 bomber flies over Skopje, North Macedonia. EFE/EPA/GEORGI LICOVSKI

US B-52 strategic bombers conduct maneuvers in Korean peninsula

Seoul, Nov 15 (EFE).- South Korean and US military on Wednesday conducted joint air drills, featuring two US B-52 strategic bombers, over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against the North.

In a statement, the South Korean Ministry of Defense said the exercise demonstrated “the alliance’s joint operational capability to respond immediately, overwhelmingly, and decisively to any provocation by North Korea.”

The military maneuvers, carried out over the Yellow Sea, also included South Korean F-35A and F-15 fighter jets, along with US F-35B and F-16 bombers, the military said.

“In line with the commitments, this exercise expands the frequency and intensity of the deployment of US strategic assets, demonstrating an effect equivalent to constant deployment,” the defense ministry added.

The air drills were a part of the upgraded “extended deterrence” strategy and conducted under close cooperation between South Korea and the United States.

“The alliance will continue to maintain the best combined defense posture” in the region, it underlined.

The extended deterrence strategy is Washington’s commitment to Seoul, involving, among other measures, the deployment of US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula to discourage North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.

In 2023, Seoul and Washington increased the deployment of military assets in the region, including strategic bombers, aircraft carriers, and submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles.

So far this year, the allies have conducted at least 12 joint air exercises on the Korean Peninsula, with seven of them featuring the deployment of B-52 bombers.

During a visit to Seoul earlier this week, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reiterated Washington’s commitment to regularly deploying US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula.

He also announced that another US aircraft carrier would arrive on the peninsula soon.

According to local media, the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is expected to dock at the port of Busan (350 km southeast of Seoul) next week. EFE