The United States deployed a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber plane to the Korean peninsula in a display of strength against North Korea as aggression and concerns mount, according to Al Jazeera. The deployment comes as the U.S. and South Korea are conducting joint exercises in an effort to counter North Korea’s hostility.
The exercise comes after Kim Jong Un conducted nuclear tests 500 miles away from the eastern coast of North Korea, according to The Hill. The dictator said that the test was simulated to hit South Korea but claimed that no country was going to be put in danger.
North Korean state media alleged that the drill was in response to aggressive exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea, which began in March. A press release from the United Nations Command read that the exercise, dubbed, “Freedom Shield 23 is the latest example of that training and the ironclad commitment to support and defend the ROK sovereignty from any threat or adversary.”
A day after the U.S. bomber flew to the peninsula, Kim Yo Jong, the dictator’s sister, cautioned that they were ready to take swift action to counter both the U.S. and South Korea. The country has tested nuclear missiles capable of hitting its Korean neighbor and the United States. Their weapons include the Hwasong-17, their longest-ranging ballistic missile, an underwater drone with nuclear capabilities, and cruise missiles.
North Korea has so far conducted six nuclear weapons tests. It may conduct its seventh as it just revealed its newest warhead. Kim Jong Un has refused to enter into talks about denuclearization unless the U.S. cease its aggressive policies, suggesting that its joint exercises with its neighbor are harming relations.
Some analysts are speculating that Kim wants the U.S. to drop economic sanctions and recognize it as a nuclear power.