U.S. ready to deploy B-52 bombers to South Korea amid escalating crisis in the peninsula

Military service members, veterans, and citizens of Guam gathered for the Memorial Day Commemoration at the Guam Veterans Cemetery. The Ceremony consisted of a fly over from a B-52H Stratofortress, a musical performance from the Guam Territorial Band & Cantate, guest speaking from the honorable Eddie Baza Calvo, a Fallen Soldier Gravesite Tribute, and the playing of Taps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jacob Snouffer/Released)

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


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.