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March 28, 2013

"So long mom, I'm off to drop the bomb / So don't wait up for me...."

Why the U.S. is flying B-2 stealth bombers over Korea : The two planes left a U.S. military base in Missouri, dropped inert munitions on a South Korean island, and then flew back home. -- The Week

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 28, 2013 9:52 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

While our bomber operations have captured recent headlines, this is nothing new. In 1981, my first B52 flight from Guam was to Kadena AB on Okinawa due to a typhoon threat on Guam. While there, the Norks fired an SA-2 at an SR-71 that had launched from Kadena. This led to a slight surge in our B52 flights over RoK for a few weeks. During my nearly five years on Guam, we routinely flew B52s over RoK, average two a week, and then ramped up for this same annual exercise every March, although at that time it was known as Team Spirit.
Eventually, B52s were re-deployed from Guam back to the states, so these missions dwindled to nearly nothing, although some number of them have happened throughout the years.
Having said all that though, a round trip B2 from WAFB sends a powerful message.

Posted by: stephen b at March 28, 2013 10:20 AM

If the US was planning on using B-2s ,especially preemptively, we would not be reading this story. it is a weak bluff.

Posted by: Scott M at March 28, 2013 11:57 AM

I was hopeful that the inert munitions were Biden and Reid. Then I remembered they don't dump dumb bombs from B-2's.

Posted by: indyjonesouthere at March 28, 2013 4:18 PM

Remember, mommy,
I'm off to get a commie,
So send me a salami
And try to smile somehow.
I'll look for you when the war is over,
An hour and a half from now!

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at March 28, 2013 6:05 PM

OPLAN 5027: Major Theater War - West

"North Korea does not require long-range missiles with nuclear, chemical, or biological warheads to devastate Seoul or to make a land grab across the DMZ. Such weapons are needed to deter or defeat an American counteroffensive into North Korea.

"North Korea has about 500 long-range artillery tubes within range of Seoul, double the levels of a the mid-1990s. Seoul is within range of the 170mm Koksan gun and two hundred 240mm multiple-rocket launchers. The proximity of these long-range systems to the Demilitarized Zone threatens all of Seoul with devastating attacks... North Korea fields an artillery force of over 12,000 self-propelled and towed weapon systems. Without moving any artillery pieces, the North could sustain up to 500,000 rounds an hour against Combined Forces Command defenses for several hours.

"North Korea's short-term blitzkrieg strategy envisions a successful surprise attack in the early phase of the war to occupy some or all of South Korea before the arrival of US reinforcements on the Korean Peninsula. North Korean ground forces, totaling some 1 million soldiers, are composed of some 170 divisions and brigades including infantry, artillery, tank, mechanized and special operation forces. Of the total, about 60 divisions and brigades are deployed south of the Pyongyang-Wonsan line. North Korea has deployed more than half of its key forces in forward bases near the border. Seventy percent of their active force, to include 700,000 troops, 8,000 artillery systems, and 2,000 tanks, is garrisoned within 100 miles of the Demilitarized Zone. [A] surprise attack on South Korea is possible at any time without a prior redeployment of its units...

"[North Korea] possesses larger forces than Iraq, and they are already deployed along South Korea's border. A war could explode after a warning of only a few hours or days, not weeks. Unlike in the Persian Gulf, this attack would be prosecuted along a narrow peninsula on mountainous terrain. It would probably be accompanied by massed artillery fire, commando raids, and chemical weapons..."

Posted by: B Lewis at March 28, 2013 8:13 PM

If they're going to prosecute a war, it will take boots on the ground, not arty and rocketry.

True the arty can cause damage; the retaliation would be severe in kind. The ROK forces are not what they were in the '50's.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at March 29, 2013 3:50 AM

The Norks don't require ICBMs to nuke North America. Scores of non-descript freighters
enter our port cities daily.

In addition, compact portable N-devices existed 20 years ago that can cross our porous borders almost at will.

Posted by: Anon at March 30, 2013 7:31 AM

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