U.S. Trumpets Stealth Bomber Training Run Over Korean Peninsula | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

U.S. Trumpets Stealth Bomber Training Run Over Korean Peninsula

The U.S. military is making no secret about a training flight by a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers from a base in the American Midwest to the Korean Peninsula — what's being described as an "extended deterrence mission."

The flight of the two radar-evading bombers "demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will," the United States Forces Korea said in a press release Thursday.

The strategic bombers belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing took off Thursday from a base at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and flew "more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range [in South Korea], and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission," USFK said.

It said the United States is "steadfast in its alliance commitment that the defense of the Republic of Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region."

The B-2 bomber is a vital element in that deterrence, according to the USFK release.

The Associated Press says it's "unclear whether America's stealth bombers were used in past annual drills with South Korea, but this is the first time the military has announced their use."

Drawing attention to the stealthy (and normally quiet) training mission is clearly meant as a signal to North Korea. It comes amid ongoing joint exercises between the U.S. and ally South Korea, and as Pyongyang has stepped up rhetoric — warning of a "simmering nuclear war" on the peninsula.

According to The New York Times, North Korea is particularly sensitive about U.S. bombers in the region:

"It keeps most of its key military installations underground and its war cries typically reach a frenetic pitch when American bombers fly over South Korea during military exercises. The resulting fear and anti-American sentiment is used by the regime to make its people rally behind Pyongyang's 'military-first' leadership."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical

In writing her new book On Immunity, Eula Biss found that questions about vaccination touch on attitudes about environmentalism, citizenship and trust in the government.
NPR

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Most U.S. poultry is bathed in a little chlorine on the way to your plate. But that treatment is banned in Europe. Now "chlorinated chickens" are a sticking point in a trans-Atlantic trade deal.
NPR

GOP Candidate In Michigan's U.S. Senate Race Avoids Media

Michigan has an open seat because Democrat Carl Levin is retiring. GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land is running a low-key campaign. Democratic Rep. Gary Peters leads in polls, but the race is close.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process, while avoiding the traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.