The United States, allying itself with South Korean interests, answered North Korea’s largest nuclear test with sorties over South Korea.
Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers left Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to send a not so subtle message to North Korea. The US long-range supersonic strategic bombers had company when a few Japanese F-2s joined them in a training exercise to “enhance operational capabilities and the tactical skills of units.”
The skies continued to get crowded as South Korean F-15s and US F-16s joined in for a low-level flight. The show took place not far from the South Korean city of Osan. When the bilateral flight was complete the bombers returned to Andersen.
US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said in a statement:
“These flights demonstrate the solidarity between South Korea, the United States, and Japan to defend against North Korea’s provocative and destabilizing actions. North Korea continues to blatantly violate its international obligations, threatening the region through an accelerating program of nuclear tests and unprecedented ballistic missile launches that no nation should tolerate. US joint military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific are always ready to defend the American homeland. We stand resolutely with South Korea and Japan to honor our unshakable alliance commitments and to safeguard security and stability.”