The US Military Just Conducted A Major Show Of Air Power In Response To North Korea's Latest Missile Test

news
Photo via DoD

In response to North Korea’s recent intermediate range ballistic missile test that overflew Japan on Aug. 28, Washington, Tokyo and Seoul have embarked on a show of force to deter Pyongyang.


As part of that show of force, the U.S. Marine Corps flew four of its stealthy new Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighters alongside a pair of U.S. Air Force Rockwell International B-1B Lancer strategic bombers. The American warplanes were joined at various points in their mission by four Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K Slam Eagles strike fighters and a pair of Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF—aka Koku Jieitai) F-15J Eagle air superiority fighters.

"North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said.

“This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat. Our forward-deployed force will be the first to the fight, ready to deliver a lethal response at a moment’s notice if our nation calls."

According to U.S. Pacific Command, the four F-35Bs—which are based in Iwakuni, Japan—the two B-1B bombers and the two JASDF F-15Js flew together over the ocean near the Japanese city of Kyushu. Subsequently, the American planes and the four South Korean F-15K strike fighters “practiced attack capabilities” by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area in Korea before returning to base.

The short takeoff/vertical landing F-35B stealth fighter is a new element to these increasingly frequent shows of allied force. The newly operational fifth-generation fighters—together with other American stealth aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit strategic bomber—would be amongst the first aircraft to cross into North Korea to strike at air defenses and command and control nodes if war broke out on the Korean peninsula.

"The F-35 embodies our commitment to our allies and contributes to the overall security and stability of the Indo-Asia Pacific region," Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said.

"By forward-basing the F-35, the most advanced aircraft in the world, here in the Pacific, we are enabling the Marine Corps to respond quickly during a crisis in support of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and all our regional partners."

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula as North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles and fiery rhetoric emanates from both Pyongyang and Washington. Indeed, the Pentagon’s show of force comes less than a day afterU.S. president Donald Trump decreed that “talking is not the answer!”

One can only hope that cooler heads will eventually prevail.

This article originally appeared at The National Interest.

More articles from the National Interest:

WATCH NEXT:

A Purple Heart and Silver Star (Atlanta Journal-Constitution photo)

An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a deployment in Afghanistan that earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

As a result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the mental condition.

He admitted Wednesday, however, that all of that was a lie.

He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered PTSD and never received the two honors, which are among the highest bestowed for military service.

Read More Show Less
Rep. Duncan Hunter (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

SAN DIEGO — Days after Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to a federal felony related to a yearslong campaign finance scandal, he has finally stated explicitly that he will resign from his congressional seat before the end of his term.

"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, R-Calif., in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."

Read More Show Less
A Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak boat crew displays their new 38-foot Special Purpose Craft - Training Boat in Womens Bay Sept. 27, 2011. (Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen)

A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jamarius Fortson)

The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy photo)

A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.

The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.

Read More Show Less