SEOUL, March 6 (Korea Bizwire) – US and South Korean military forces have conducted joint air drills in the West Sea, with the deployment of nuclear-capable B-52H strategic bombers on Monday. According to the Ministry of National Defense, the exercise involved South Korea’s F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets, following the deployment of US B-1B strategic bombers over the previous three days.
This marks the first deployment of B-52s to the Korean Peninsula in around three months since last December. The B-52, one of the longest-running US strategic bombers first flown in 1952, is capable of carrying up to 31 tons of bombs, including air-to-ground nuclear missiles with a range of 200 kilometers. The bomber can fly over 6,400 kilometers to bomb targets and return.
The drill comes ahead of the US-South Korea joint military exercise “Freedom Shield” scheduled for March 13-23. The B-52s, along with the B-1B and B-2, are among the three existing US bombers that can carry nuclear weapons. The exercises aim to showcase the strength of the US-South Korean alliance, promote readiness, and enhance the ability to respond to any potential threats.
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