As President Trump met with senior Defense officials on Tuesday to discuss America’s options regarding Kim Jong un’s North Korean regime, the wheels were already in motion for yet another show of force over the Korean Peninsula involving American and allied aircraft.
Late Tuesday night, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula, escorted by South Korean F-15K fighter jets, before conducting air-to-ground missile drills just south of the North Korean border. They then flew off the coast of the peninsula, where they were joined by Japanese fighters, to conduct similar drills into the waters between South Korea and China. While these show of force flights are not uncommon, this marks the first time that nighttime missile drills have been conducted with both allied nations’ forces in the same evening. The U.S. Bombers then circled back and returned to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.
The decision to execute these drills coincides with a higher frequency of what some call saber-rattling between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong un. Trump has taken to calling his opponent “Rocket Man” in both social media and public addresses, and he’s even characterized Kim’s nuclear ambitions as a “suicide mission.” North Korea, not to be outdone by the rhetoric, has responded with a series of inflammatory accusations and threats throughout, including, at one point, claiming that President Trump had declared war via Twitter. This most recent flight, of course, was no different.
With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said to the Russian owned outlet TASS. “We need to settle the final score, only with a hail of fire, not words.”