South Korea and the US conduct a joint aerial exercise with a B-52 bomber and US F-22 fighters

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SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States held a joint air exercise Tuesday, involving a B-52 strategic bomber and U.S. F-22 stealth fighters, in an effort to bolster the credibility of the US “extended deterrence”, as reported by the South Korean Ministry of Defense.

The drills took place in South Korea’s air defense identification zone, southwest of its southern island of Jeju, amid tensions sparked by the launch of two medium-range ballistic missiles on Sunday by North Korea.

The drills also involved South Korean F-35A stealth jets and F-15K fighters.

F-22 aircraft from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan are scheduled to participate in another joint training program with South Korean F-35A jets this week to bolster allied capacity to respond to threats. nuclear and missile weapons from North Korea.

The ministry declared, in a press release, that the deployment, on this occasion, of the B-52H bomber and the F-22 fighters, is part of an effort to reinforce the credibility of the US extended deterrence.

Extended deterrence refers to the US commitment to use all of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to defend its ally.

The ministry made the comments referring to an agreement reached during the allied defense ministerial talks last month to increase the frequency and intensity of the deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula.

He added that South Korea and the US will further consolidate the combined defense posture of the alliance between the two nations against North Korean nuclear and missile threats, continuing to strengthen the alliance’s capabilities and posture, including the US extended deterrence.

Sunday’s missile launch took place at the main rocket launch site in Tochang-ri in western North Korea, where the North claimed to have tested a “solid fuel” rocket engine last week. high thrust” to develop another “new type of strategic weapon system”.

The engine test was seen as part of Pyongyang’s push to develop a solid-fueled ICBM, which takes less time to prepare for launch than a liquid-fueled one, which requires fuel injection and other procedures.

US F-22 fighter jets previously visited South Korea for air exercises in 2018.

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