US Deploys B-1B Bombers to Guam Amid Tensions About North Korea's Nuclear Bomb Test

US Deploys B-1B Bombers to Guam Amid Tensions About North Korea's Nuclear Bomb Test
US Deploys B-1B Bombers to Guam Amid Tensions About North Korea's Nuclear Bomb Test

Guam - The United States has deployed B-1B bombers to Guam, which will land this week. The deployment of the aircraft comes amid the prospect of North Korea's new nuclear bomb test and regional tensions over Taiwan. The deployment of the U.S. Air Force B-1B long-range bomber to Guam is the second so far this year.

The US military confirmed their temporary deployment to the US Pacific region as part of a "bomber task force" mission on Thursday, a day after an aircraft surveillance website reported their flight from a base in the United States. "This is intended to send a message that the United States stands closely with its allies and partners to prevent potential provocations," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said at a briefing, when asked if the mission was aimed at sending a message to North Korea.

Ryeder added that the presence of the bombers also aimed to demonstrate that the United States has the capability to conduct global operations at any time. North Korea has conducted a record number of missile tests this year, including launching one over Japan. Officials in Washington and Seoul said North Korea also appeared ready to resume nuclear tests for the first time since 2017.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear weapons tests since 2006. The United States and its allies; South Korea and Japan have stepped up their display of military might in response to North Korea's missile tests, including conducting naval exercises with a US aircraft carrier and holding major field exercises for the first time in years.

B-1B bombers have participated in shows of force against North Korea in previous years. North Korea has denounced the military exercises by the United States and its allies as provocative and evidence of hostile intent. The US Air Force said in a statement that during their temporary stay in Guam, the American bombers will partner with unspecified allied forces for several training missions in the Indo-Pacific.

"The B-1 is a highly capable platform in the region, capable of long-range travel and significant firepower with precision and standoff munitions," Lt. Col. Daniel Mount, an official with the 37th Bomb Squadron, said in the statement. quoted by Reuters, Friday (10/21/2022).

Another US officer said the mission of the B-1B bomber task force played an important role in repelling potential adversaries and challenging their decision calculus. Tensions have also been high in recent months over self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims. A visit to the island in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi angered China, which then launched military exercises near the island. It continues, albeit on a much reduced scale.

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