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US warplanes conduct joint exercise amid tensions with North Korea

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Seoul: The US flew four stealth fighter jets and two bombers over the Korean peninsula today in a show of force with South Korean and Japanese warplanes, after North Korea’s latest nuclear and missile tests, a report said.

Monday’s flyovers involved two B-1Bs and four F-35Bs from the US military and four F-15K fighter jets from South Korea, according to the South Korean and US militaries. The US and South Korean planes flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attacks by releasing live weapons at a firing range in South Korea, the US Pacific Command said in a statement.

Since Kim Jong Un took power in North Korea in late 2011, his nation has tested weapons at a torrid pace. The country flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. Its nuclear test in September was its most powerful to date.

As per reports, “North Korea’s final goal “is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the US and make their rulers dare not talk about military option” for the North,” Kim said to media.

Alarmed by North Korea’s advancing weapons programs, many conservatives in South Korea have called for the reintroduction of US tactical nuclear weapons in the South. But the liberal-leaning government of President Moon Jae-in said it has no intention of requesting that the US bring back such weapons.

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo told lawmakers on Monday that it is “not proper” to reintroduce US nuclear weapons. He previously said the idea should be “deeply considered” by the allies, inflaming already-heated debate on the issue.

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