US flies Stealth bombers over South Korea
Seoul, March 28, 2013
The US flew two Stealth bomber practice runs over South Korea on Thursday, in a second show of force to North Korea after a B52 bomber made a similar run earlier this week amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The flights came after North Korea said it would attack American bases in the Pacific following a US-led drive to impose sanctions on North Korea for its third nuclear weapons test.
The North has also threatened US "puppet" South Korea with war and the US mainland with nuclear attack.
"This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing...demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will," the US Forces in Korea said in a statement.
North Korea has put its armed forces on readiness to fight what is says are "hostile" war drills by the US and South Korea. The US says the annual drills are defensive.
Pyongyang has also cancelled an armistice agreement with the US that ended the 1950-53 Korean War and cut all communications hotlines with US forces, the United Nations and South Korea.
The US military said that its bombers had flown more than 6,500 miles to stage a trial bombing raid from their bases in Missouri as part of Foal Eagle war drills being held with South Korea.
The US military announced on March 15 it was bolstering missile defences in response to threats from the North, including a threat to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike against the US.
Despite the shrill words, few believe North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, will risk starting a full-out war.
North and South Korea are still technically at war anyway after their 1950-53 civil conflict ended with the armistice, not a treaty.
North Korea conducted a third nuclear weapons test in February in breach of UN sanctions and despite warnings from China, its one major diplomatic ally. - Reuters