US secretly sending strategic weapons to South Korea: Report

March 26, 2017 2:53 pm

Navy crew members stand by an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during a South Korea- joint exercise in seas east of the Korean Peninsula, March 14, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US has been secretly moving strategic weapons to South Korea in order to threaten North Korea, a US military official says, noting that Washington has taken a more aggressive approach towards Pyongyang under President Donald Trump
“Surprise dispatch of strategic weapons is effective in maximizing fear in the North as it sends a message that such weapons can be mobilized any time in case of a contingency,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying by The Korea Times on Sunday.
The comments came days after Washington belatedly confirmed that it had deployed a number of F-35B stealth fighter jets to the restive peninsula. The aircraft were originally sent to Japan.
The advanced fighter jets reportedly took part in the US-South Korea annual joint military exercise Foal Eagle, where they simulated a bombing attack on virtual targets in the North.
The flight reportedly took place between March 20 and 23 but was only made public by US Forces Korea (USFK) Commander General Vincent K. Brooks on Saturday.
“The deployment of the most advanced aircraft the US Marine Corps has in its inventory to Korea is yet another example of how dedicated the United States is to supporting the ROK-US Alliance,” he said in a statement. “The training within the Korea Marine Exercise Program helps ensure our readiness and is critical for our alliance as we maintain security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”

A mock victim lies on the ground during a joint medical evacuation exercise as part of annual massive military exercises at a South Korean Army hospital northwest of Seoul, March 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)Washington employed the same strategy when the US Navy’s USS Columbus nuclear submarine arrived in South Korean waters to join the drills.
Earlier on March 15, two American B-1B strategic bombers were secretly deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and were later spotted over a firing range in South Korea.
The strategic nuclear-capable bombers also simulated attacks on North Korean targets for about an hour and their presence there was only confirmed by Korean outlets.
American officials did not acknowledge the flight at the time, arguing, “We do not discuss operational matters.”
Infuriated by the provocative military drills, which involve 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans, Pyongyang warned Sunday that a preemptive strike was always a possibility.
“As long as the US and South Korea’s troops and means … remain in and around South Korea, they should keep in mind that our military will carry out annihilating attack at anytime without any prior warning,” the North said in a statement.

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