Seoul, Washington carry out aerial drills after North Korea’s missile launch

Seoul, Apr 14 (EFE).- The Air Forces of South Korea and United States on Friday carried out fresh military exercises and deployed several B-52H bombers according to Seoul, a day after North Korea test-fired a new missile.

North Korean state media confirmed on Friday that the test carried out by Pyongyang a day earlier was a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), named Hwasong-18, which is much more efficient and difficult to deect compared to the long-range missiles possessed by the regime so far.

In response to the test, the South Korean Air Force scrambled F-35A and F-15K jets while the US deployed F-16 fighters and bombers for joint exercises in an unidentified area of the Korean peninsula, Seoul’s defense ministry said.

“(The drills) represented a close-knit, coordinated response demonstrating the powerful ‘strength of the alliance’ and the United States’ will to provide extended deterrence against the recent series of North Korean provocations,” the ministry press release said..

The South Korean ministry added that the militaries reaffirmed their capacity to rapidly deploy US strategic weapons in the Korean peninsula, apart from combined operational capabilities and the interoperability between the two powers.

It added that both Seoul and Washington had demonstrated through actions that they were resolute about not accepting any nuclear attack from the North “by strengthening the frequency and intensity of the deployments of US strategic assets.”

The deployment of B-52H bombers comes after other bomber jets were deployed last week and on Mar. 6 for different drills, although the plane deployed on Friday is nuclear-capable, which could be seen as way to send a stronger message to Pyongyang. EFE


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