The Commander of the US Pacific Air Forces warned all interested parties that enough was enough, and we and our allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” against North Korea. The message came just one week after the US State Department cut off all travel to the communist nation and ordered all American citizens to be out of the country by August 21st. The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, came just hours after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.
Originally, the exercise was called a response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, but now has taken on an ominous note as “Dry run” against possible targets in the North. The General said in a statement; “North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability. Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”
General O’Shaughnessy finished his remarks saying; “if called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
North Korea conducted it’s latest test launch of an ICBM on July 28, and Pentagon experts have confirmed that the latest test could have struck all but one state on the US mainland. The country’s recent actions have drawn condemnation from President Trump, and prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to confer with counterparts from South Korea and Japan to develop a response as was reported by Fox News.
High ranking members of the Trump Administration have recently criticized China, for its failure to use its influence to discourage North Korea from developing its nuclear program. Meanwhile on Saturday, two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers joined counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in sequenced bilateral missions. According to a Pentagon briefing, the U.S. bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, then flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets.
The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula, where they were joined by four F-15 fighter jets from the South Korean air force. The B-1s then performed a low-pass over Osan Air Base, South Korea, before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam. This was the second such exercise in the last three weeks.