U.S. launches nuclear-capable bombers in military drills over Korea

The U.S. deployed B-52H bomber aimed at North Korea.
Photo: South Korean Ministry of National Defense

The United States flew nuclear-capable bombers and advanced stealth jets in a show of force aimed at socialist North Korea, the Associated Press reported.

The B-52H strategic bomber and F-22 stealth fighter jets were used in joint military drills over South Korea on Dec. 20. The B-52H is the primary strategic nuclear bomber for the U.S., capable of carrying large payloads at high speeds over long distances. The nuclear-capable F-22 jets were deployed in South Korea for the first time in four years.

In its first two years, the Biden administration’s foreign policy has been marked by increasing militarization, a report in Responsible Statecraft noted. The new $858-billion military budget now before Congress includes plans to develop a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile that former President Donald Trump initiated in 2018.

Biden’s nuclear expansion plans, outlined in a summary released in March, omit a “no first use” policy. The U.S. is now engaged in the most extensive military buildup in history. 

“The root reason for the current tension [in Korea] is the U.S.’s increasing pressure on North Korea, Lü Chao, an expert on the Korean Peninsula at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

“Lü noted that the U.S. had organized several military drills with its allies South Korea and Japan, and with more new weapons and aircraft carriers being involved,” the Global Times reports.

At the end of October, the U.S. and South Korea conducted one of their largest joint military air drills, with hundreds of warplanes from both sides staging mock attacks 24 hours a day for a week, the report continues.

Officially pacifist Japan has meanwhile announced its largest military budget since World War II, unveiling a $320-billion plan, which will involve developing long-range offensive missiles.

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