As North Korea’s military inches ever closer to being capable of firing an inter-continental ballistic missile that could actually reach the mainland U.S., Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, stated on Saturday that if necessary, our country and our allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” against the rogue regime.
In response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan began conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula on Saturday.
Throughout the approximately 10-hour mission, the air crews practiced intercept and formation functions, which will hone their combined capabilities and strengthen long-standing military relationships in the region. Because the U.S. Pacific Command maintains flexible bomber and fighter capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, this gives them the ability to immediately respond to any regional threat in order to defend the U.S. and its allies, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” O’Shaughnessy said.
— PACAF (@PACAF) July 30, 2017
Working with counterparts from South Korea and Japan to develop a response to the North’s recent actions, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been critical of China’s failure to discourage North Korea from developing its nuclear program.
“Diplomacy remains the lead,” said O’Shaughnessy. “However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”
He added, “If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
After test launches of ICBMs on July 3 and July 28 were reportedly successful, North Korea claimed that its weapons can now reach the U.S. mainland.
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