President Donald Trump just sent a show of force by way of the U.S. Air Force to North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong Un when two B-1B Lancer supersonic heavy bombers screamed across the skies of the Korean Peninsula, according to The Associated Press.
The Tuesday flyover was thought to be part of Trump’s response to the unfortunate death Monday of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who had been imprisoned by the North Koreans for more than a year only to be released to the U.S. last week in a coma that ultimately proved fatal.
A show of force like this involving heavy bombers or powerful fighter jets is considered typical when responding to provocative actions by the communist North Koreans, such as illicitly test-firing ballistic missiles, or, in this case, mistreating American citizens held in their custody.
According to the Public Affairs office of the Pacific Air Forces Headquarters, the two B-1B Lancers departed from Anderson Air Force Base in Guam — deployed from their home at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas — as part of a training mission for the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron.
The 10-hour flight for the two supersonic bombers involved separate training missions with F-15 fighter jets from both the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force.
Those two missions, as well as the flyover of the Korean Peninsula, were intended to “demonstrate solidarity between Japan, ROK and the U.S. to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater,” according to the headquarters statement.