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.

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Showing 3 of 39 comments
jgarbuz
Mar 19, 2013 5:20 PM CDT
Fantastic workhorse, the B-52, with lots of life left in it: Wikipedia "The USAF continues to rely on the B-52 because it remains an effective and economical heavy bomber, particularly in the type of missions that have been conducted since the end of the Cold War against nations that have limited air defense capabilities. The B-52 has the capacity to "loiter" for extended periods over (or even well outside) the battlefield, and deliver precision standoff and direct fire munitions. It has been a valuable asset in supporting ground operations during conflicts such as Operation Iraqi Freedom.[181] The B-52 had the highest mission capable rate of the three types of heavy bombers operated by the USAF in 2001. The B-1 averaged a 53.7% ready rate and the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit achieved 30.3%, while the B-52 averaged 80.5% during the 2000–2001 period.[160] The B-52's $72,000 cost per hour of flight is more than the $63,000 for the B-1B but almost half of the $135,000 of the B-2.[182] Additionally, a proposed variant of the B-52H was the EB-52. This version would have modified and augmented 16 B-52H airframes with additional electronic jamming capabilities.[183][184] This new aircraft would have given the USAF an airborne jamming capability that it has lacked since retiring the EF-111 Raven. The program was canceled in 2005 following the removal of funds for the stand-off jammer. The program was revived in 2007 but funding was again cut in early 2009.[185] In 2012 it was announced that USAF engineering studies suggest that the life span of the B-52 could extend beyond 2040.[186]"
kawahchan
Mar 19, 2013 12:42 PM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: As far as we know the IRIS III director Eastwood is investing the German-made Rheinmetall Defence Laser weapon warfare to "HELRAMing" the North Korean Workers' Party's PLA; one scene shown the American Republican CIA drone a North Korean General officer in the Capital City NayPyiTaw, somewhere in Myanmar. Obama's toy B-52 is just the ex-President Nixon used to carpeting the North Vietnamese during Vietnam War, the B-52 should be retired for American military safety, either Hollywood don't rent it to film the new Rambo anymore.
BrushMan
Mar 19, 2013 10:46 AM CDT
Why not bomb North Korea with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Then send the citizens welfare checks. Once they have become fat and lazy, like us, we can threaten to cut them off if they do not come to our way of thinking. Simple, easy, less expensive than war, and nobody has to die.