The United States and South Korea conducted joint drills over South Korean airspace on Monday afternoon, weeks after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test and the United Nations Security Council adopted sanctions curtailing oil exports to the country.
The United States deployed four F-35B jets and two supersonic B-1B bombers, and jointly trained with four F-15K bombers of the South Korean air force, South Korean news service Newsis reported.
The aircraft conducted mock-bombing training exercises over a training ground in Yeongwol, Gangwon Province in central South Korea.
During training, the F-35B fighter jets dropped Joint Direct Attack Munition weapons, or JDAM, a smart bomb with high accuracy, all-weather bombing capability guided by a GPS.
The B-1B Lancers trained dropping a conventional bomb, the MK-84, according to the report..
The supersonic bombers were being deployed to the peninsula for the second time within a month.
A South Korean military official told Newsis the drill was part of “regular deployment training” designed to “improve extended deterrence.”
“Through this training the United States and South Korea air force demonstrated its ability to deter against North Korea nuclear missile threats, while improving the interoperability of joint forces,” the official said. “We mastered rapid response power of the combined combat operations.”
Newsis’ source said there are plans for the “U.S.-South Korea allied forces to continue demonstrating their inhibiting ability with U.S. strategic bombers,” and that the two sides are to “continue to improve their combined operational capability in preparation for an emergency.”
B-1B bombers and the F-35B fighters most recently trained with the South Korean air force on Aug. 31.
The supersonic bombers were also deployed on July 30.
By Elizabeth Shim