Two U.S. Air Force supersonic B-1B bombers were flying alongside South Korean and Japanese warplanes during a joint drill on Saturday, in response to North Korea's test that involved an intercontinental rocket. The missile was launched 124 miles away from Japan within Japan's East Sea.
The South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff explained the exercises in a statement.
“South Korea and the US conducted a joint air drill today with the US Air Force's B-1B strategic bomber redeployed on the Korean peninsula,” they added, noting that the exercise saw the participation of several of the most advanced aircraft that are part of the US as well as South Korean air forces which comprised a F-35 stealthy fighter.
“The B-1B – that reportedly has a grudge with Kim for its capability to carry a huge load of guided as well as unguided guns – is referred to as”the “backbone” of the U.S.'s bomber force,” according to an announcement by the U.S. Air Force.
“It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time,” the statement said, noting that the bomber's “low-radar cross-section” allows the bomber to create “an integrated, robust defense system that supports penetration of hostile airspace.”
As RedState's Susie Moore reported on Thursday, North Korea launched an intercontinental missile following threats of the possibility of a “fiercer” military response to the U.S. and its increasing cooperation with South Korea and Japan.
In a press release issued by the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said the US intensification of the expanded deterrence to allies within the area “is gambling for which it will certainly regret.”
The more US presence in defense of the area “the fiercer (North Korean) military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it,” Choe stated.
The test was following Biden's visit in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 summit, as well as a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. In addition to causing a stir for Kim, Biden also attended the East Asia Summit in Cambodia on the 13th of November. The AP says:
“Vice President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Sunday vowed to come together in a coordinated and united response to North Korea's dangerous ballistic and nuclear missile programs as well as Biden declaring that the trilateral collaboration will be “even more important than it's ever been as North Korea is stepping up its provocations.”
The ICBM created in the name of Kim Hwasong, known as the Hwasong-17, is of particular concern because it's believed to be capable of being able to reach almost any place on the planet. Japan has demanded an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council regarding the risk.
It's difficult to determine if joint exercises as well as Security Council meetings will have an impact on the ruler of the Hermit Kingdom. It's good to remind the dictator of the consequences that could fall on him if he decides to take on South Korea or Japan.