US Flying B-52s Over S. Korea
Demonstrating 'extended deterrence capabilities' as North postures
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2013 6:35 AM CDT
Visitors look inside a US Air Force B-52 bomber on display at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – The latest escalation with North Korea: In response to the growing tension, the US is flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the South, the BBC reports. The first mission flew on March 8, and the planes will fly again today. "We're drawing attention to the fact that we have extended deterrence capabilities that we believe are important to demonstrate in the wake of recent North Korean rhetoric," says the Pentagon press secretary.

A South Korea Defense Ministry spokesperson adds that the exercise shows the US is committed to providing a "nuclear umbrella on the Korean peninsula" as North Korea continues to threaten a nuclear attack, a commitment affirmed by US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on a visit to Seoul yesterday. Yesterday, Japan confirmed that a ship it intercepted en route to North Korea last August was in fact carrying nuclear materials, Fast Company reports.