The US and South Korea exercised many strategic bombers and stealth fighters, prompting fierce protests from North Korea.
U.S. B-1B Lancer strategic bombers, together with F-22 and F-35B stealth fighters, were dispatched to Korea on February 1 to train with F-35A fighters from the Korean Air Force.
This was the first joint aviation drill between the United States and South Korea this year, and it took place over the Yellow Sea, which separates the Korean peninsula from China.
According to a statement released by South Korea’s defense ministry, “the exercise displays the US ability and will to deliver a strong and reliable extended deterrence against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.”
North Korea said today that it would not hold dialogue until the United States stops pursuing hostile policies.
“The political and military situation on the Korean peninsula and the region has reached an extreme red line due to the reckless military moves of a confrontational nature, as well as the hostile actions of the United States and its foreign forces,” he said.
Moreover, Pyongyang stated that the US is transforming the Korean peninsula into a “vast arsenal of weapons and a dangerous war zone,” adding that it will respond to any US action with “the most overwhelming nuclear power.”
In the wake of ongoing military operations on the Korean peninsula, tensions rose to dangerous levels. In response to recent large-scale drills involving the United States, South Korea, and Japan, North Korea has tested a number of new weapons, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Recently, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared that North Korea has become a nuclear state and that this transformation cannot be undone, prompting calls for a “exponential growth” in his nuclear weapons.