North Korea: an American B-1B bomber joins the joint air exercises in South Korea!

Sylvie Claire / November 5, 2022

The B-1B is a supersonic bomber with low radar detection and very low altitude capability. It was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons

A U.S. B-1B supersonic heavy bomber was scheduled to participate Saturday in the massive air exercises underway in South Korea jointly conducted by Seoul and Washington, extended after a record series of missile launches by North Korea.


The B-1B is a supersonic bomber that is not very detectable by radar and can fly at very low altitude. Although it was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons, it has been used by the United States for exclusively conventional combat missions since the mid-1990s, according to its manufacturer, Boeing, on its website. It has been used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.


The "Vigilant Storm" air exercises, which began on October 31, are the largest ever jointly organized by South Korea and the United States. Initially scheduled to last until Friday, they were extended to Saturday after North Korea increased its missile launches in recent days, including an apparent failed launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the Sea of Japan.


On Friday evening, the South Korean military announced that it had deployed some 80 F-35A stealth aircraft after detecting 180 fighter jets flying in North Korean airspace, a new episode in the dramatic rise in tensions on the Korean peninsula in recent weeks.


After attacking Russia and China, Washington, Paris, London and other non-permanent members of the Security Council issued a joint statement calling for "unity" in the face of the "threat posed by North Korea to international peace.


China and Russia, whose relations with the West are at a low ebb with the war in Ukraine, shunned the joint statement. Their ambassadors criticized the military exercises between the United States and South Korea and accused Washington of wanting to "force Pyongyang into unilateral disarmament through sanctions and pressure.


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged, through his spokesman, that "North Korea should immediately refrain from any act of provocation.


North Korea has always viewed U.S.-South Korean military maneuvers as dress rehearsals for an invasion of its territory or the overthrow of its leadership. The "Vigilant Storm" exercise is "an aggressive and provocative military maneuver aimed at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the North Korean regime denounced Wednesday, threatening Seoul and Washington with "the most horrible price in history.


Analysts attribute Pyongyang's particularly angry reaction to the use of advanced F-35A and F-35B stealth aircraft during "Vigilante Storm," which were seen as an ideal tool for conducting lightning "decapitation strikes" against North Korean leaders.

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