US bombers to fly over Korean Peninsula during military exercises with South: report

Jake Baker  ·  December 06, 2017  ·  Featured, Politics, Elections, Foreign Policy, Military

By Paulina Dedaj

The U.S. Seventh Air Force was to fly bomber jets over the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday as a part of an annual five-day training drill with South Korea.

The U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers were set to fly as a part of a joint training exercise called the "Vigilant Act," Reuters reported, citing information from South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

A South Korean defense ministry official was unable to verify the report but the Seventh Air force has sent strategic military assets, including six F-22 and 18 F-35 stealth fighter jets. About 12,000 U.S. military personal will participate in the drill, which started Monday.

The participating aircrafts will be flying at eight U.S. and South Korean military installations throughout the South.

The drills come just a week after North Korea launched its most powerful missile yet, an intercontinental ballistic missile with the capability to reach the U.S. mainland.

The Seventh Air Force released a statement saying that the drills were not scheduled in response to the recent test-launch.

North Korea warned that the drills would push matters to "the brink of nuclear war," Reuters reported.

UN official in Pyongyang

Amid the heightened tensions, United Nations undersecretary general for political affairs, Jeffery Feltman, has made a rare visit to North Korea.

Arriving Tuesday, Feltman was set to meet North Korea's foreign minister and vice president during his three-day visit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The last time a top U.N. official visited Pyongyang was in 2010.

"The visit is the response to a longstanding invitation from Pyongyang for a policy dialogue with the U.N.," the Journal cited Stephane Dujarric, spokeswoman for the U.N.'s secretary-general, as saying.

The visit could be an attempt to try to deescalate tensions in the region -- although the U.N. Security Council has yet to formally respond to last week's missile test.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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7th Air Force , B-1 Lancer Bombers , Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Un , North Korea, North Korea , Vigilant Act

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