News / Asia

    US Warplane Flies Over South Korea in Show of Force to North

    Lt. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, left, 7th Air Force commander of the U.S. Forces to Korea, and South Korean Air Forces Commander Lee Wang-geun pose in front of a South Korean F-15K fighter jet after a press briefing on the flight by a U.S. Air Force B-52
    Lt. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, left, 7th Air Force commander of the U.S. Forces to Korea, and South Korean Air Forces Commander Lee Wang-geun pose in front of a South Korean F-15K fighter jet after a press briefing on the flight by a U.S. Air Force B-52
    VOA News

    A long-range U.S. military bomber flew over South Korea Sunday, in an apparent response to North Korea over its latest nuclear weapons test.

    The B-52 bomber, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, was seen flying over Osan Air Base, located 72 kilometers south of the border that separates the two Koreas, before heading back to its home base on nearby Guam.  The bomber was accompanied by two fighter planes from the U.S. and South Korea.

    U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, issued a statement calling the flight a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland."

    A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Jan. 10, 2016.
    A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Jan. 10, 2016.

    'Steadfast' in defense of South Korea

    Lieutenant-General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the deputy commander of the joint United States-South Korean military command, told reporters after the flight that the U.S. "remains steadfast" in the defense of South Korea "and to maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula, to include extended deterrence provided by our conventional forces and our nuclear umbrella."

    The U.S. also sent a long-range bomber over South Korea in 2013, shortly after the North carried out its third nuclear test.  

    South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the United States is considering deploying a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the waters off the Korean peninsula.   

    FILE - In his New Year's address, Kim Jong Un called for improved ties with Seoul, sparking speculation that he might pursue a conciliatory course as part of preparations for a major party convention in May.
    FILE - In his New Year's address, Kim Jong Un called for improved ties with Seoul, sparking speculation that he might pursue a conciliatory course as part of preparations for a major party convention in May.

    Kim Jong Un defends nuclear test

    Sunday's flight of the B-52 came hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un defended last Wednesday's test of an alleged hydrogen bomb as "the legitimate right of a sovereign state and a fair action that nobody can criticize" during a speech to the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.

    In remarks reported Saturday by Pyongyang's official KCNA, Kim said the test was "a self-defensive step for reliably defending" the Korean peninsula from the danger of nuclear war caused by "U.S.-led imperialists."  

    Two days after the test, Seoul resumed anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts over loudspeakers along the demilitarized border, which Pyongyang considers an act of war.  A South Korean military official told Yonhap that the North has retaliated with loudspeaker broadcasts of its own.  

    North Korea's actions angered traditional ally China and set off a firestorm of criticism in capitals across much of the world.

    New UN sanctions

    Hours after global sensors detected the blast, the U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session to craft new sanctions against North Korea for its latest violation of U.N. policy.  In a statement, the Council said the test posed "a clear threat to international peace and security."

    International experts say the test measured as too small to qualify as a full hydrogen bomb test, while political analysts say it may have been designed to draw attention to the reclusive communist state ahead of a rare and crucial meeting of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party.  

    In his address, Kim also referenced the upcoming congress, noting that the test and the party meeting are just months apart.

    The country's 7th party congress, set for May, will be the first such gathering since 1980.

    Kim described the congress as "a historic turning point" in accomplishing the country's "revolutionary" ideology.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Abdullahi Haruna
    January 11, 2016 6:14 AM
    If korian are humans they shall not let outsiders like America to use them by making them killing each others while enjoying the battle on their TV Korians ane one.

    by: Katherine Leigh from: Warehouse Point, CT
    January 11, 2016 5:35 AM
    I am not sure where the loyalties of the South Koreans lie. I have little confidence that they will support the US in any conflict with the DPRK. I say this from firsthand knowledge of the Korean mindset. We should have destroyed the north long ago and turned it into a radioactive wasteland. But the southerners would not stand for white men beating up their racial brethren. That is the only reason this annoying pest has now become a nuclear power!

    South Korea is a problem country, just like Israel and Saudi Arabia. They are useless dead weight.

    by: Solaris
    January 10, 2016 8:15 AM
    South Korea is a dead state, No one can save it now and any mistake made by the US including interfering in that part of the world again, would even lead to dissolution of Japan too.So save the Japan forget about the south or lose both.
    In Response

    by: Grace
    January 10, 2016 11:54 PM
    I'm sorry to point out that you're greatly mistaken.
    South Korea is a democratic country and a military ally of the U.S. and North Korea is a communist country led by Kim Jong-un.
    This comes as no surprise as there are quite a lot of people out there who don't know much about the two Koreas and which one is an isolated, secretive regime led by the dictator.

    by: Moses608 from: Kenya
    January 10, 2016 7:43 AM
    North Korea should be part of South Korea.North Korea should not exist anyway as is the country in the world which feeds its people on human waste.Worse one Million times that any African country.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 10, 2016 7:13 PM
    Hey Moses608 _ Before you judge them? .. Read the history of Korea after WW2 when the US assumed control of Korea, and when the US supported Koreans raped, imprisoned, tortured, killed and committed massacres and other atrocities on the communist Koreans and their sympathizer families and friends, forcing them to flee north to join the communists that had fought the little islanders of the rising sun for 20 years or more with Mao's Chinese troops, [and then], the US with Taiwan voting as China and Russia boycotting, had Korea divided into north and south to stop the Koreans from voting to become a possible communist country? .. Then the North Koreans invaded the South to reunite the country?

    PS; Read the Korean history from after WW2 and before the Korean war, and then you'll understand why the North Koreans want defensive nuclear weapons, and why they don't trust the US and South Korea? .. If you only get your history facts from the western news media, you'll never learn anything? .. just propaganda?

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