On August 10, in an unprecedented show of force in the Pacific region, the U.S. military deployed B-2 Spirit stealth bombers to Guam to join B-52 and B-1 bombers for an integrated bomber operation in the Asia Pacific region. The B-1 bombers were deployed just days before on August 6 in order to be stationed in Guam temporarily “to carry out USPACOM’s (U.S. Pacific Command) Continuous Bomber Presence mission.” The B-2 Spirit bombers were reported to have been sent as a part of the “bomber assurance and deterrence deployment” or BAAD.
On August 17, the three bombers were flown over the East Asian region for a joint drill. In a statement released shortly after the joint bomber operation, the U.S. Pacific Command stated, “[T]his was the first time all three bombers flew a formation pass over Andersen Air Force Base [in Guam], dispersed and then simultaneously conducted operations in the South China Sea and Northeast Asia.”
In a statement released through the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea’s foreign ministry denounced the U.S.’ deployment of the nuclear bombers to Guam- “The introduction of the nuclear strategic bombers to Guam by the U.S…. proves that the U.S. plan for a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK has entered a reckless phase of implementation.”
Although the U.S. Pacific Command did not explicitly state that the recent deployments of the so-called “strategic power projection bombers” (capable of carrying nuclear bombs) are aimed at targeting North Korea, both the Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) mission and the bomber assurance and deterrence deployment (BAAD) have been historically linked to the U.S. military’s plans for targeting North Korea.
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