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After Top Defence Meet, US Conducts Military Drills Over Korean Peninsula

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| October 11 , 2017 , 15:49 IST

In a strong show of force, two US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers trained with South Korea's F-15K fighter jets flew over and near the Korean peninsula on Wednesday after President Donald Trump's meeting with the top defence officials. The action is said to be a response to the growing threat from North Korea.

In a statement, Major Patrick Applegate said, "Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations' aviators."

The South Korean military also confirmed that the bombers took off from the US Pacific territory of Guam on Tuesday night, before entering South Korean airspace and conducting firing exercises over the East Sea and the Yellow Sea.

It was part of a "regular deployment training" aimed at enhancing the capability of implementing the "extended deterrence" against the North, the JCS said.

It said, "Through the practice this time, South Korean and US Air Forces showed off the allies resolve for strong retaliation against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats."

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Earlier in the day, US military leaders had briefed President Donald Trump on the options that can be taken against North Korea, which is considered a threat to the country. The meeting was attended by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.

After the meeting, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that the United States has military options, however, diplomacy is their first approach.

He said, "No one wants to go to war with another country. We want diplomacy. We want a peaceful Korean Peninsula, and the world agrees with us on this."

"No one prefers the military response, but that is there to back us up if our allies would need it or if we would need that," Nauert added.

According to reports, the units also staged a simulated air-to-ground missile-firing drill with two F-15K fighters over the East Sea and flew across the peninsula. The B-1Bs and the F-15Ks then had another round of a firing exercise over the Yellow Sea. The bombers flew out of the KADIZ at around 11.30 pm.

-With Agency Feeds