US sends stealth bombers to Korean peninsula for military exercises

posted at 8:41 am on March 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The US sent a very clear signal to Pyongyang today, even if they didn’t see it coming.  Stealth bombers flew 6500 miles to join military exercises with South Korea, dropped dummy bombs on target, and flew back to the US.  After the mission, the Pentagon announced the mission and its results, a deliberate answer to the recent provocations from Kim regime in North Korea.  The message? We don’t need long-range missiles to take you out.

The United States said Thursday it flew stealth bombers over South Korea to participate in annual military exercises amid spiking tensions with North Korea.

The B-2 Spirit bombers flew more than 6,500 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to South Korea, dropping inert munitions there as part of the exercises, before returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S Forces in Korea said in a statement.

The mission by the planes, which can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, “demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will,” the statement said.

The U.S. military’s announcement earlier this month that it was flying B-52 bombers over South Korea to participate in the routine exercises prompted an angry reaction from the regime of Kim Jong Un, which has unleashed a torrent of threats in the past few weeks.

That message is intended for a wider audience than just the DPRK, too:

Top officials tell CBS News they have also stepped-up communications with the new Chinese government, urging it to use its leverage to keep the peace when North Korea appears to be itching for war.

North Korea beats war drums every spring, when the U.S. and South Korea carry out planned military exercises. But Garrett says the recent rhetoric coming from Pyongyang has been more bellicose, and the young new leader is seen as unpredictable.

North Korea severed the last line of communication with the South on Wednesday, and placed its artillery and strategic rocket batteries on maximum alert, warning that a nuclear war could start any day.

“The intensity of the rhetoric is a lot hotter, the uncertainty is higher,” North Korea expert and former U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson told CBS News.

No word yet from Pyongyang, but don’t expect that to last long. We’re less interested in their response now than we are in Beijing’s.  The real message is that the US will take action if China can’t get Kim and his generals back on the leash, and the resultant refugee flood would be a disaster for China.  Whatever benefit Beijing gets from playing Pyongyang against Japan and the US would rapidly dissipate, and we’re getting very close to the point where a simple mistake could send things out of everyone’s control.

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Comment pages: 1 2

The auto pilot? Hilarious. Barry has no control because of the auto pilot. Right fuzzy feeling that must give everyone.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM

You’re not following along, Obama is continuing the same Neocon Foreign Policy as Bush.

Interventionism =/= NeoCon
There are a broad spectrum of interventionist policies. Obama’s is more of the “throw stuff from as far away as possible and hope you don’t get any ick on you”, rather than the Bushian “all hearts yearn for freedom, if we can just kill their cultural leaders first”. Whether you think they’re both wrong or not, they definitely AREN’T the same.

GWB on March 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Interventionism alone is not Neo-conservatism, but constant interventionism combined with nation building and replacing regimes with Democracies at the expense of the American taxpayer is, and that’s exactly what Obama’s foreign policy has been.

Perhaps Obama is half assing it like Clinton, but it is the same foreign policy, it’s been around longer than Bush and Obama.

Daemonocracy on March 28, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Well, given the new norm, if that happens all the General would have to do is declare that he is gay and all will be forgiven.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM

So if Petraeus’s girlfriend had been a boyfriend…

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Any money saved goes straight to Mooch’s vacation fund.

There’s not enough money to be had to cover all the vacation time that Mooch has been taking lately.

HiJack on March 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Oh, that’s no problem. You spend — er, invest — money to build a printing press to print more money. Both things expand the economy. Can’t miss. They’ve got it all figured out.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM

The auto pilot? Hilarious. Barry has no control because of the auto pilot. Right fuzzy feeling that must give everyone.

Limerick on March 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM


He’s on autopilot because he’s too stupid and chicken to do anything else.

MelonCollie on March 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Everyone knows we have the ability. Also, everyone knows we lack the will.

We should have just stayed home and saved the gas, especially that green stuff the Air Force is required to use at $40 a gallon.

enginemike on March 29, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Comment pages: 1 2