U.S. and South Korea are discussing the timing of the deployment of strategic U.S. military assets near the peninsula.
South Korea and U.S. are discussing the deployment of strategic U.S. assets to the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a briefing on Aug. 24.
Although the Defense Ministry spokesman did not say which U.S. assets are being considered for deployment in the region, sources cited by the South Korean Yohap New Agency suggested that the U.S. forces might include the B-52 Stratofortress bombers, and a nuclear-powered submarine currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.
In the last few days, North Korea has deployed twice as many artillery pieces as usual along the border with South Korea while most of its 70 submarines have departed from their bases after the militaries of both Koreas exchanged fire in the most serious dispute in five years.
U.S. B-52s and the stealthy B-2s have already conducted extended deterrence missions in a show of force against North Korea in the past and although they are unlikely to be stationed in South Korea they could either perform round-trip sorties from their homebases in the Continental U.S. or temporarily deploy at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, a base used by the Stratofortress to launch missions over the Korean Peninsula in the past and where U.S. Air Force bombers periodically rotate.
Actually, three B-2 bombers and approximately 225 Airmen from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, have already deployed to Guam on Aug. 7 to conduct familiarization training activities in the Pacific region and “maintain readiness” there; therefore, if needed, the strategic bombers required to deter Kim Yong-un are already in place.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force