US flies B-1B bombers over ROK after DPRK's nuke test

Updated: 2016-09-13 09:58


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SEOUL - The US military on Tuesday flew two nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over the Republic of Korea in a show of force following the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s recent nuclear test.

Two B-1B Lancers, which can carry nuclear weapons, flew over the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 km south of capital Seoul, at about 10 am local time (0100GMT), according to local media reports.

The one was flanked by four ROK's F-15K fighter jets, while the other was joined by four US F-16 fighter planes before returning to the base. The high-speed bombers made a sortie from the US air base in Guam.

The flights are a day later than scheduled. The United States reportedly planned to send the bombers to South Korea on Monday, but it was delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

The United States allegedly forward-deployed several B-1Bs to Andersen base in Guam in early August from Ellsworth air base in South Dakota to replace B-52 strategic bombers.

The flight of B-1Bs over South Korean territory near the inter-Korean border came just four days after the DPRK announced its successful explosion test of nuclear warhead that can be mounted on ballistic missiles.

The ROK's military estimated the fifth nuclear test was the most powerful as it produced an explosive yield of 10 kilotons, bigger than 6 kilotons generated in the previous test.

Following the Jan 6 nuclear detonation, the fourth from the DPRK, the US military staged an armed protest by flying a B-52 strategic bomber over the Osan Air Base.