S.Korea, US to hold vice-ministerial strategic dialogue next week

Phillip Cunningham
October 12, 2017

The two US Air Force B-1B bombers were joined by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement on Wednesday.

Two supersonic U.S. bombers have flown over the Korean peninsula in a "show of force" despite Kim Jong-Un's threats to shoot them down.

The bilateral training mission between the U.S. B-1B bombers and South Korean F-15K fighter jets on Tuesday night followed a September 23 mission in which USA bombers and fighter escorts used pre-dawn hours to fly to the farthest point of the border between North and South Korea by any US aircraft this century.

The U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) said in a statement this was the first nighttime American B-1 bomber drill conducted with the two U.S. allies in the region.

The US military statement said the exercise "demonstrates how USA military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific are always ready to defend the American homeland and how the USA stands resolutely with Japan and the ROK to honor their unshakeable alliance commitments".

The hackers broke into the computer networks of South Korea's defense ministry past year and pilfered classified military documents that detailed military operations in case war broke out on the Korean peninsula, South Korea's state news agency Yonhap reported.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un inspects a military site in North Korea in this undated picture released by state media.

Late last month the USA flew B-1Bs over worldwide waters close to North Korea's east coast.

But neither side is budging in the standoff. "What I am going to tell you is that the [South Korea]-US alliance, that bilateral entity, is there to deal with those types of situation and safeguard against them".


Pictured: North Korea's intermediate-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 lifting off from the launching pad at an undisclosed location near Pyongyang.

President Trump hosted a discussion on options to respond to any North Korean aggression, or, if necessary, to prevent Pyongyang from threatening the USA and its allies with nuclear weapons, the White House said in a statement.

Guam, from where the B-1 bombers in Tuesday drills departed, has been a particular target of North Korean threats.

However, Trump said he still had confidence in the secretary of state.

The US bombers had taken off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

It would mark the first such talks since the U.S.

The information, that included wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea, was from the country's defence ministry, according to Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker.

At the end of last month, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said that the U.S. had "declared war" on the authoritarian state and was "right" to shoot down American planes.

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