(LEAD) U.S. strategic bomber B-52 to arrive in S. Korea this week

A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 is set to land in a South Korean air base this week, the United States Forces Korea (USFK) said Monday, in the latest show of force against North Korea's missile and nuclear threat.

It would mark the first time that the B-52 Stratofortress has landed at a South Korean air base although the long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons flew over the Korean Peninsula for joint drills between South Korea and the United States.

The B-52 is one of the major U.S. strategic bombers along with the B-2 Spirit and B-1B Lancer, which landed at Osan Air base in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul, in September 2016.

The USFK said the B-52 plans to conduct two flyovers as part of a larger cross-section of U.S. military aircraft during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (Seoul ADEX) 2023, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, just south of Seoul.

"These flyovers, air demonstrations and static displays, including the landing for the B-52 on the peninsula, is part of our continued pledge to promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean peninsula," Maj. Rachel Buitrago, 7th Air Force public affairs director, said in a release.

A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 is seen in this photo provided by the United States Central Command on Nov. 11, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 is seen in this photo provided by the United States Central Command on Nov. 11, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The 2023 Seoul ADEX is expected to draw some 290,000 visitors, including over 114 military and defense officials from 55 countries, marking the largest-ever edition of the biennial event that first launched in 1996.

The exhibition will showcase various homegrown aircraft and ground-based equipment, including the KF-21 fighter jet under development, FA-50 light attack aircraft, K2 main battle tanks and K9A1 self-propelled howitzers.

The U.S. military will also feature F-22 and FA-18G aircraft during the exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance this year.

"U.S. support for Seoul ADEX 23 is at an all-time high in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the ironclad commitment to the ROK-U.S. Alliance. Participation in the event allows the U.S. to demonstrate its robust readiness by showcasing capabilities committed to protecting service members and their families, as well as defending allies and partner nations," the USFK said, referring to South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The deployment of the nuclear-capable B-52 is expected to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to further enhancing the regular visibility of strategic assets in the region amid heightened tension over Pyongyang's growing nuclear threat. North Korea also plans to launch a military spy satellite again this month after two failed attempts this year.

The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier arrived at the southeastern port of Busan on Thursday for a five-day visit following trilateral naval drills involving the United States, South Korea and Japan.

In July, Pyongyang denounced the U.S. deployment of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula as "the most undisguised nuclear blackmail" against North Korea.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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