After Kim Jong Un’s decision to test a new long-range ballistic missile as a “gift for the American bastards” on the 4th of July, the United States teamed up with allies South Korea and Japan to deliver a not-so subtle response. On July 7th, two U.S. B-1B Lancer Bombers departed from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and made the trek to a bombing range near the North Korean border to deliver some mock ordnance as a demonstration of how quickly, and accurately, U.S. forces can strike.
The B-1Bs were accompanied by South Korean F-15K Slam Eagle fighters and U.S. Air Force F-16C fighters throughout the 2,000 mile round trip to the Pilsung bombing range and back, where they dropped a joint directed attack munition (JDAM) GPS-guided bomb onto a simulated North Korean missile launcher. Local media reported that each aircraft dropped one 2,000 pound GBU-56 laser-guided JDAM, an improved version of the storied JDAM satellite guided bomb that has been in use since 1997.
“North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland,” said Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “Let me be clear, if called upon we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces.”
During the return flight to Guam, the U.S. B-1B bombers were accompanied by Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-2 fighters over the East China Sea. The United States has pledged to support Japan in their ongoing territorial dispute with an island chain in the region known as the Diaoyu Islands to China and Senkaku Islands to Japan.