The Korean Peninsula’s neverending “rising conflict” drama continues this week as the South holds a series of joint air drills with the United States. At the same time, the North uses such military exercises as an excuse for its continuing provocative behavior.

In this week’s update, armed forces from the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US staged another combined aerial exercise mobilizing an American nuclear-capable B-52H strategic bomber, F-35Bs, F-16s, and ROK’s F-35 fighter jets.

ROK is the official name of South Korea.

According to Seoul’s defense ministry, the recent drill is another joint effort to bolster regional deterrence capabilities against evolving Pyongyang threats.

The American bomber was previously deployed over the Korean Peninsula about a month ago, following the North’s provocative actions, like showing off its Hwasan-31 tactical nuclear warhead, unveiling its latest smaller lethal munitions, and testing its so-called nuclear-capable underwater attack drone.

The ministry noted that the training focused on simulating measures to safeguard the strategic bomber from potential airborne hostile assaults and reinforcing the allied forces’ combined interoperability and operational capacities.

It is assessed that the successive deployments to the peninsula of key US strategic assets have represented the US putting into actions its determination to defend [South Korea] and its efforts to enhance the credibility of extended deterrence,” officials stated via press release on Wednesday.