The U.S. Air Force's B-1B Lancer strategic bomber aircraft and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets conducted simulated bombing drills in South Korea on Wednesday, a show of the allies' ability and resolve to retaliate against North Korea's provocations, the defense authorities here said.
The military exercises, called "Vigilant Ace", are created to enhance joint readiness and operational capability of USA extended deterrence, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. This was consistent with an announcement made the day before on the Air Force's official Weibo microblog.
The "swarming" military strategy, which is now in development, will see a group of drones resembling a swarm of bees in shape deployed to neutralize enemies and their military capabilities when complete, while another strategy is being developed to allow long-distance strike mission for high payoff targets using drones. November 10 this year, the Secretary of State and Chief of Staff of the US Air Force Heather Wilson said that at the present time the US Air Force also operates 120 F-35A fighter bombers. South Korea has deployed 90 fighter jets, including its F-15 and FA-50 fighters. He praised the country for sending an envoy to speak with the North Korean government, but seemed frustrated earlier this month by the lack of results from that meeting.
Hawaii is reassuring tourists about its air-raid drills, which have reinstated due to growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
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About 28,500 USA troops are stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. China is expressing its discontent with its own aerial exercises over the West Sea and the East China Sea, sending a message to Seoul and Washington.
A former USA defense secretary said Tuesday it would be "preferable" for South Korea and Japan to build independent nuclear capabilities in the face of North Korea's growing nuclear threat.
U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday urged the Pentagon to start moving U.S. military dependants, such as spouses and children, out of South Korea, saying conflict with North Korea was getting close. But another view is that the military exercises that China has conducted in response may be raising tensions, too.