US Embassy Seoul Tweets B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers: Precision Strikes at Will

Last week, the US Embassy in Seoul sent this tweet:

Screen Shot 2013-03-28

Today, this one:

Screen Shot 2013-03-28

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The CSMonitor quoted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as saying that the unprecedented U.S. decision to send nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers to drop dummy munitions during military drills with South Korea was part of normal exercises and not intended to provoke a reaction from North Korea.

BBC News reported that that North Koreans  have put missile units on stand-by to attack US targets in response to US stealth bomber flights over the Korean peninsula.  The report citing the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also said that Kim Jong-un signed off on the order at a late-night meeting of top generals. The time had come to “settle accounts” with the US, KCNA quoted him as saying, with the B-2 flights an “ultimatum”.

A statement from US Forces Korea  says in part:

U.S. Strategic Command sent two B-2 Spirit bombers for a long-duration, round-trip training mission from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to the Republic of Korea March 28 as part of the ongoing bilateral Foal Eagle training exercise. 

This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, which demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will, involved flying more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range, and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission.

The United States is steadfast in its alliance commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region.  The B-2 bomber is an important element of America’s enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region.  

That’s two flying over the Korean Peninsula, there are 18 more in the inventory.  Read more here.  Also BBC’s piece on How potent are North Korea’s threats? 
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