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US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

Munitions from a U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force bilateral mission explode at the Pilsung Range, South Korea, Sept 18, 2017. The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the training area before returning to their respective home stations. This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea's intermediate range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on September 14 amid rising tension over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development programs. (U.S. Army photo/Released, SSgt. Steven Schneider)
September 18, 2017
Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.32.06 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

Munitions from a U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force bilateral mission explode at the Pilsung Range, South Korea, Sept 18, 2017. The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the training area before returning to their respective home stations. This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on September 14 amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs. (U.S. Army photo by SSgt. Steven Schneider/Released)

U.S., Japanese and South Korean forces on Monday flew several fighter jets over the Korean Peninsula and dropped live weapons at the training range there, in a show of force in response to North Korea’s most recent intermediate-range ballistic missile launch, according to the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM).

Two B-1B Lancer bombers from Anderson Air Force Base, in Guam; four U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II fifth-generation advanced fighters from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, in Japan; four Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K fighters; and four Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets executed the mission, PACOM said.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.31.58 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

B-1B Lancer bombers flanked by USMC F-35 Lightning II and JASDF F-2 fighters execute a bilateral mission over the Pacific Ocean, demonstrating the United States’ ironclad commitment to our allies in the face of aggressive and unlawful North Korean missile tests. (Courtesy Photo by Japan Air Self Defense Force/Released, by Japan Air Self-Defense Forces)

“PACOM maintains the capability to respond to any aggressive actions in the [Indo-Asia-Pacific] at a moment’s notice,” PACOM tweeted Monday.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 7.58.51 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

(Twitter)

“The United States’ commitment to the defense of our [Indo-Asia-Pacific] allies is unshakable and ironclad,” PACOM also tweeted.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 7.59.10 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

(Twitter)

The U.S. Air Force and Marines Corps, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force joined forces in a bilateral show of force in response to North Korea launching yet another ballistic missile eastward over Japan on Sept. 14.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.31.51 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

B-1B Lancer bombers flanked by USMC F-35 Lightning II and JASDF F-2 fighters execute a bilateral mission over the Pacific Ocean, demonstrating the United States’ ironclad commitment to our allies in the face of aggressive and unlawful North Korean missile tests. (Courtesy Photo by Japan Air Self Defense Force/Released, by Japan Air Self-Defense Forces)

North Korea on Friday launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs said the missile was launched from North Korea’s capital region, specifically Sunan, which is where Pyongyang’s international airport is located.

The North Korean missile reached a height of 480 miles and traveled 2,300 miles, which is more than the North Korean missile launch in August, which flew 340 miles high and 1,700 miles out.

This is only the third North Korean missile to fly over Japan since 1998.

The North Korean launch came hours after North Korea threatened to blow the United States to “ashes and darkness” and has said it will “sink” the country of Japan, following a United Nations resolution that bans 90 percent of its exports.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.31.43 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 depart Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 18, 2017. The F-35B Lightning II aircraft joined United States Air Force, Japan and Republic of Korea Air Force aircraft in a sequenced bilateral show of force over the Korean peninsula. This show-of-force mission demonstrated sequenced bilateral cooperation, which is essential to defending U.S. allies, partners and the U.S. homeland against any regional threat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Carlos Cruz Jr.)

The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and then released live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area, in the eastern province of Gangwon, and the F-35Bs, B-1B bombers and Koku Jieitai fighter jets flew over waters near Kyushu, Japan, PACOM said.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.26.42 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

Munitions from a U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Air Force bilateral mission explode at the Pilsung Range, South Korea, Sept 18, 2017. The U.S. and ROKAF aircraft flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the training area before returning to their respective home stations. This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on September 14 amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs. (U.S. Army photo by SSgt. Steven Schneider/Released)

“U.S. Pacific Command maintains the ability to respond to any threat in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater at a moment’s notice,” PACOM pointed out.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 8.02.13 AM - US fighter jets and bombers use live munitions in bombing show-of-force over Korean Peninsula

(Twitter)

The U.S. also made its presence known at the end of August, when four U.S. F-35B fighter jets and two B-1B bombers joined four South Korean F-15 fighter jets to drop bombs near the North Korean border in a mock military exercise.

The mock bombing comes the same week that North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan – the first time it had done so, and that missile might have been a test for Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

Kim Jong Un vowed there would be more missile tests, despite multiple U.S. warnings from various officials, including President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“Our forward-deployed force will be the first to the fight, ready to deliver a lethal response at a moment’s notice if our nation calls,” PACOM tweeted at the time.