Conflicts & War

Seoul, Washington carry out more air drills after Pyongyang’s ICBM test

Seoul, Nov 19 (EFE).- South Korea and the United States on Saturday carried out more joint air exercises, which included a B-1B strategic bomber of the US Air Force, a day after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The supersonic bomber made a sortie over South Korea’s air-defense identification zone escorted by South Korean F-35A jets and American F-16 fighters, Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement.

“Through this drill, we have once again demonstrated the joint military capacity of the South Korea-US alliance and Washington’s commitment to protecting the Korean Peninsula and providing extended deterrence,” the JCS said.

The so-called “extended deterrence” is a commitment the US made to South Korea in May, which includes the deployment of strategic American assets in the Korean peninsula in the context of North Korean actions.

Washington and Seoul would continue to cooperate closely to monitor Pyongyang’s military activities and improve their joint response, JCS added.

The drills come a day after North Korea tested an ICBM, elaborating on Saturday that the tested weapon was a new Hwasaong-17 ballistic missile – which could potentially be the longest-range missile developed by Pyongyang with a range of around 15,000 kms.

This ICBMs prototypes have already been tested this year without being completely successful, analysts said.

The test-launch of the missile, which landed in the Sea of Japan around 200 kms north of the Japanese coast, had immediately been followed by air exercises by South Korea and the US as well as Japan-US joint drills.

Tensions in the Korean peninsula have risen to unprecedented levels due to repeated weapon tests by North Korea, joint drills by the US and its allies and the possibility of Pyongyang carrying out its first nuclear test since 2017, triggered by satellite images showing preparations for the test. EFE


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