Seoul, Oct 17 (EFE).- A US B-52 strategic bomber touched down for the first time Tuesday in South Korea in the latest demonstration of Seoul and Washington’s mechanisms to try to dissuade Pyongyang from carrying out new missile tests.
The aircraft, initially scheduled to arrive Thursday, landed at Cheongju Air Base, about 110 kilometers southeast of Seoul, after making a flight over the Seoul International Defense and Aerospace Exhibition being held these days at the Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of the capital.
Before flying over the arms fair, the B-52 carried out joint maneuvers with the latest generation South Korean F-35 stealth fighters, according to the country’s air forces in a statement.
Although this nuclear-capable bomber had previously participated in joint air exercises over the peninsula, it is the first time it has touched down in South Korea.
The B-52 is, along with the B-2 and B-1, the United States’ primary strategic bomber.
Its arrival in South Korea represents yet another demonstration of the so-called “extended or expanded deterrence,” a commitment of the Pentagon to Seoul that includes the regular and rotating shipment of US strategic assets to respond to the North Korean regime and discourage future actions such as weapons tests.
The landing of the B-52 is preceded by another similar gesture, since the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Reagan was moored for five days in the port of Busan until yesterday.
North Korea again condemned Tuesday these actions of the allies in an article published by its state news agency in which it points out that these “dangerous nuclear provocations” bring the region closer to the possibility of facing a “thermonuclear war.”
After the failure of the 2019 denuclearization negotiations, tension has soared again on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea rejecting any offer of dialogue and carrying out a record number of missile tests and the US resuming its major joint maneuvers and deploying strategic assets in the region. EFE