A United States B-1B bomber was part of a joint aerial exercise with South Korea on Wednesday, just the latest in a series of increasing military drills between the allies as international tensions over North Korea grow.
The drill took place in what was seen as a response to the North’s Nov. 29 intercontinental ballistic missile test that they claim could strike the continental U.S., with their latest projectile, known as Hwasong-15.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told the British House of Commons last week that the CIA informed President Donald Trump that he had a “three month window” before North Korea could carry out a nuclear strike on major U.S. cities.
While it was unclear whether Bolton’s statements were official or not, it further spurs supporters of a pre-emptive strike on the North, and Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo reportedly indeed has a hardline approach to the country.
B-1B bombers have been used before in exercises with South Korea, formally known as the Republic of Korea. Yonhap news agency reported that the drill took place at Pilsung range in the Gangwon province, about 150 k.m. from the North Korean border.
The joint-military exercise Vigilant Ace includes over 200 aircraft, 12,000 military personnel and even for the first time, U.S. F-22 raptors.
More details to follow. Image 1 of a B-1B bomber from Wikimedia Commons.