US bombers carry out rare drill over Korean peninsula

SEOUL/WASHINGTON : US bombers carried out a rare live fire drill in South Korea Saturday, flying close to the DMZ in a show of force after Pyongyang’s latest missile test, the South’s defence ministry said.

After the drill, the B-1B Lancers, deployed from the Anderson Air Base in Guam, flew close to the tense and heavily militarised land border with the North before turning back, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The exercise aimed to “sternly respond to the series of North Korea’s ballistic missile launches,” the South’s military said in a statement.

Four US and South Korean jet fighters joined the live fire drill, which was conducted at a range in Yeongwol County, some 80 km south of the inter-Korean border, the military said.

The long-range heavy aircraft each dropped a 2,000-pound (907.1 kg) laser-guided bunker-busting smart bomb.

The drill simulated the two American bombers destroying enemy ballistic missile batteries and South Korean jets mounting precision strikes against underground enemy command posts, it said.

US TO TEST ITS THAAD ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM

The US missile defence agency has said that it would soon test an anti-ballistic missile system, days after North Korea demonstrated its arsenal was capable of striking parts of Alaska.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is designed to intercept and destroy short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.

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