The U.S. has sent two B-1B strategic bombers to Korean skies for joint exercises with the South Korean Air Force on Tuesday, a Defense Ministry spokesman here told reporters.
A military source here said Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, gave unprecedented instructions to publicize the bombers' arrival. The USFK asked South Korea the previous day to assist with aerial photography.
Pictures of the bombers taking off from Guam and training in the sky over the Korean Peninsula were posted on the USFK and Pacific Air Forces Command Facebook pages.
Two Korean F-15Ks joined the drill, which took some three hours.
The show of force came shortly after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was returned from North Korea in a coma with severe head injuries sustained after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda poster.
It also follows a call in Washington last Friday from Moon Chung-in, a special adviser to President Moon Jae-in, to scale down joint exercises.
The B-1B is the biggest and fastest U.S. bomber with a maximum speed of Mach 1.2, and the North has reacted nervously whenever the planes approach the peninsula. It takes them just 2.5 hours to reach the peninsula fro
U.S. B-1B bombers and South Korean F-15Ks conduct a joint drill over the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday. /Courtesy of the South Korean Air Force