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USA’s nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber on mission in Pacific as Trump visits Asia

U.S. sends nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber on mission in Pacific ahead of Trump visit to Asia, Japan Times, BY JESSE JOHNSON,STAFF WRITER, 29 Oct 17,  The U.S. military sent a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on a long-range mission to the Pacific area of operations over the weekend, it said Sunday, a day after Pentagon chief Jim Mattis highlighted rival North Korea’s “accelerating” atomic weapons program during a visit to South Korea.

The U.S. military’s Strategic Command said in a statement that the type of long-range mission conducted was to “familiarize aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands, enabling them to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency.”

 In a message likely intended to reassure Japan and South Korea ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Asia, which kicks off later this week, the statement also referred to the B-2 mission as “a visible demonstration of commitment to our allies and enhancing regional security.”

The flight path of the B-2 was unclear, and Strategic Command did not respond to a request for comment, but the last time one of the stealth bombers flew near the Koreas was during a rare show of force over the peninsula in 2013. Military experts say that any U.S. strike on North Korea would almost certainly involve the powerful bombers……..

The weekend flight of the B-2, which can carry conventional as well as nuclear bombs, comes just ahead of Trump’s Asia tour, which is scheduled to kick off with a visit to Japan between Nov. 5-7. That visit will include talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that are expected to focus on the North Korean nuclear crisis……

On Saturday Mattis blasted North Korea for “outlaw” behavior and vowed that the U.S. would never accept a nuclear North.

“North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbors and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs,” he said, adding that U.S.-South Korean military and diplomatic collaboration thus has taken on “a new urgency.”

“I cannot imagine a condition under which the United States would accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” Mattis said…….. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/10/29/asia-pacific/u-s-sends-nuclear-capable-b-2-stealth-bomber-mission-pacific-ahead-trump-visit-asia/#.WfY2FI-CzGg

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October 29, 2017 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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