SEOUL: The US Air Force plans to deploy B-1B strategic bombers in US-South Korea military exercises on Saturday (Nov 5), Yonhap News reported, after North Korea fired a barrage of weapons tests in recent days to protest allied military drills.

Seoul and Washington have been holding “Vigilant Storm” air drills since Monday, which were extended by a day to Saturday in response to what the allies call continued provocations by North Korea.

This is the first time the B-1B has been deployed in US-South Korean drills since 2017, Yonhap said. The United States has kept four of the bombers in Guam since late October, according to the news agency.

South Korea has asked the US to step up deployment of “strategic assets”, which include aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and long-range bombers like the B-1B.

US and South Korean authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

After talks with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Washington on Thursday, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said the US had agreed to employ “US strategic assets to the level equivalent to constant deployment through increasing the frequency and intensity of strategic asset deployment in and around the Korean Peninsula”.



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