U.S. strategic bomber B-52 lands at S. Korean air base for 1st time

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SEOUL, A U.S. strategic bomber B-52 landed in South Korea for the first time Tuesday, after it staged a commemorative flight over a biennial defense trade show in the country and joint air drills with South Korean stealth fighter jets.

The U.S. nuclear-capable bomber landed at an air base in Cheongju, 112 kilometers southeast of Seoul, after flying over Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, just south of the capital, to mark the opening of the six-day Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2023.

Although the B-52s -- considered a key U.S. strategic asset -- have previously been deployed over the Korean Peninsula for joint air drills with the South Korean Air Force, it marked the first time the bomber landed at an air base in the country.

Prior to the commemorative flight, the aircraft also took part in a combined air exercise over the peninsula with South Korean F-35A fighters, according to the South's Air Force.

"This exercise once again demonstrated the South Korean and U.S. Air Forces' outstanding combined operational capabilities and the U.S.' commitment to extended deterrence for the defense of the Republic of Korea," the armed service said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

Extended deterrence refers to the U.S. commitment to defending an ally using all of its military capabilities, including nuclear weapons.

In April, the United States pledged to enhance the "regular visibility" of strategic assets on the peninsula as part of efforts to deter North Korea's military threats in a joint declaration issued by President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden during their summit in Washington.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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