B-1 Bombers Conduct Bilateral Missions with Allies In Response to North Korea ICBM Launch
(Source: US Pacific Air Forces; issued July 29, 2017)
Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers from Dyess AFB, Texas, flew a 10-hour mission from Guam into Japanese airspace and over the Korean Peninsula on July 30; they are seen here escorted by a Japanese F-2 fighter. (USAF photo)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii --- In response to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs and as a part of the continuing demonstration of ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies, two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers under the command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, joined their counterparts from the Republic of Korea and Japanese air forces in a sequenced bilateral missions July 29.

This mission is in direct response to North Korea's escalatory launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 3 and July 28.

"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability," said Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. "Diplomacy remains the lead; however, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario. If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."

After taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the B-1s flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets. The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula where they were joined by four Republic of Korea Air Force F-15 fighter jets. The B-1s then performed a low-pass over Osan Air Base, South Korea, before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam.

Throughout the approximately 10-hour mission, the aircrews practiced intercept and formation training, enabling them to improve their combined capabilities and tactical skills, while also strengthening the long standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Pacific Command maintains flexible bomber and fighter capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, retaining the ability to quickly respond to any regional threat in order to defend the U.S. homeland and in support of our allies.

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Pentagon Spokesman Comments on North Korean Missile Launch
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued July 28, 2017)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Department detected and tracked a single North Korea missile launch today at about 10:41 a.m. EDT, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said today in a statement.

The department believes the missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected, Davis said.

Davis said the missile was launched from Mupyong-ni, and traveled about 620 miles before splashing down in the Sea of Japan. The Defense Department, he added, is working with its interagency partners on a more detailed assessment.

No Threat to North America

The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America, Davis said.

The United States' commitment to the defense of its allies, including South Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad, the spokesman said.

The United States also remains prepared to defend itself and its allies from any attack or provocation, he added.

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U.S.-South Korea Conduct Training in Response to North Korean Missile Launch
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued July 28, 2017)
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea --- U.S. Eighth Army and South Korean army personnel today conducted a second combined training event to exercise assets in view of today’s North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launch, Eighth Army officials here announced today.

This exercise once again utilized the Army Tactical Missile System and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II, which fired missiles into territorial waters of South Korea along the country’s eastern coast July 5.

The ATACMS can be rapidly deployed and engaged and provides deep-strike precision capability, enabling the U.S.-South Korean alliance to engage a full array of time-critical targets under all weather conditions.

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