US sends B-2s to South Korea for military drills


Associated Press

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 9:04 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — It's a message to North Korea -- and it's been delivered today by two American stealth bombers.

U.S. officials say the bombers took part in joint military drills with South Korea today, dropping munitions on a South Korean island.

The show of force from the United States follows weeks of escalating rhetoric from North Korea, which has said a war with South Korea may be just days away.

A statement says the B-2 bombers, with nuclear capability, flew from a U.S. air base in Missouri and dropped the munitions on a South Korean island range before returning home. It's the first time the military has announced the use of stealth bombers in the annual drills with South Korea.

The announcement is likely to further anger North Korea, which has already issued a flood of ominous statements to show its displeasure over the drills and the U.N. sanctions over its nuclear test last month.

But there are signs today that the North is willing to go only so far. A North Korean industrial plant that is operated with South Korean know-how and personnel is running normally today. This, despite the North's shutdown yesterday of communication lines that are ordinarily used to move workers and goods across the border.

%@AP Links

157-c-17-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent)-"before returning home"-AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports a pair of American B-2 stealth bombers have finished a training mission over South Korea. (28 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *157 (03/28/13)>> 00:17 "before returning home"

APPHOTO SEL804: U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bomber, left, flies over near Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 28, 2013. A day after shutting down a key military hotline, Pyongyang instead used indirect communications with Seoul to allow South Koreans to cross the heavily armed border and work at a factory complex that is the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. (AP Photo/Lee Jung-hun, Yonhap) KOREA OUT (28 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO SEL804 (03/28/13)>>