B-52 Trainings Intended to Send Strong Message to N. Korea: Pentagon
The United States is going strong against North Korea's threats.
The U.S. Defense Department has made a rare announcement that the B-52 Stratofortresses will take part in the ongoing South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, and will continue to be deployed in the joint drills from now on, in the wake of rising inter-Korean tensions.
The B-52s, well known for its ability to "carpet bomb," are long-range, strategic bomber jets that were originally built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions.
They are widely feared in North Korea, as it was these bomber jets that destroyed most of Pyongyang during the Korean War.
They're also one of the three pillars of the U.S.' nuclear umbrella, along with its intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Pentagon spokesman George Little says the move reflects Washington's commitment to defend South Korea, and sends a strong message to North Korea amid the reclusive state's continual verbal threats.
U.S. experts echoed Little's comments.
"I think what you see here is political signal to North Korea, that no one is going to be intimidated by their December launch and then the subsequent nuclear test."
While the joint military exercises such as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are reaching their peak this week, U.S. President Obama is focusing hard on North Korean issues.
In a regular press briefing Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the president is very focused on North Korea, and that his senior national security team is also staying focused on the issue.
He added that the Washington does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear state, and will not tolerate its moves to develop its nuclear and missile programs that can target the United States.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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