The United States and South Korea will conduct a joint military drill next month in Alaska that is rehearsal for a pre-emptive attack on North Korea’s nuclear facilities.
(VERO BEACH, FL) Red Flag Alaska takes place from October 3 to October 21 at Eielson Air Force Base 26 miles southeast of Fairbanks.
The South Korean Air Force will dispatch 8 F-15K fighter jets and 2 C-130 transport planes along with nearly 150 airmen. The US Air Force will commit 50 fighter jets. New Zealand will send transport planes to Red Flag Alaska, and NATO will send aerial tankers. The South Korean fighter jets will fly nonstop nearly 5,000 miles with 10 aerial refueling along the way.
A military source told the Korea Times that the pilots will carry out live fire exercises with their laser-guide bunker buster bombs that can penetrate command centers located deep underground. The source said that the US and South Korean air forces will train their combat pilots to annihilate North Korea under various scenarios such as air-to-air and air-to-surface combat.
General Mike Mullen, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the CFR last week that a preemptive strike on North Korea is just one of many potential options to deal with the erratic behavior of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
A South Korean military source told Yonhap News Agency,
"The drill will be held with the scenario of a sudden missile attack from North Korea. The drill is also designed to practice striking the North's nuclear and other core military facilities," the military official said.
"The drill will be held with the scenario of a sudden missile attack from North Korea. The drill is also designed to practice striking the North's nuclear and other core military facilities." The military official also said South Korea’s American-built F-15K’s will rehearse a mission to strike North Korea’s nuclear facility in (Yong-bee-un) Yongbyon more than 60 miles north of the capital city of Pyongyang.
The heightened state of concern on the Korean Peninsula comes as US Air Force General John Hyten told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that North Korea will soon start developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to the continental United States.
The commander of the US Strategic Command told the Senators that he is concerned about what North Korea would do after it has mastered the ability to mount a nuclear warhead atop an ICBM. He said North Korea’s unpredictability is the hardest threat to deter. Gen. Hyten also named Iran as his second biggest concern.
The US Air Force dispatched two armed B-1B strategic bombers to South Korea today in a show of force to warn North Korea from taking an irrational actions. The bombers flew from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.
7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Thomas Bergeson said the flybys were meant to demonstrate the ironclad bond between the United States and South Korea, and that America’s commitment to defend South Korea will not be shaken by North Korea’s threats. General Bergeson said the US has a wide array of military options to respond to North Korea. South Korean Air Force Operations Commander Lt. General Lee Wang-keun warned that the combined US-South Korean military forces will respond and eliminate North Korea’s will and capability to fight.
The US Air Force did not say how long the B-1B bombers will remain in South Korea. There is a possibility that the U.S. will send B-52s and B-2s to Korea as well.
North Korean state-controlled KCNA news agency said today the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to be built in South Korea will be made a primary target for nuclear attacks. The most likely site of the THAAD system is approximately 250 miles south of Seoul. There is widespread local opposition in the region as citizens fear the deployment of the new radar-based defense system will make their town a target of North Korean attacks. That fear became real today when the North Koreans said the town is now a primary target for a nuclear attack. The North Korean statement said: "If THAAD is deployed in South Korea, it will be exposed to nuclear strikes here and there as the primary target.”