The Pentagon said B-1B bombers from Guam, along with F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday. The U.S. characterized the flights as extending farther north of the Demilitarized Zone, than any U.S. fighter or bomber had gone off the North Korean coast in the 21st century.
B-1 bombers are no longer part of the U.S. nuclear force, but they are capable of dropping large numbers of conventional bombs.
U.S. Pacific Command would not be more specific about many years it had been since U.S. bombers and fighters had flown that far north of the DMZ, but a spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham, noted that this century “encompasses the period North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.”
Non-proliferation is dead in Northeast Asia, and Chinese support for North Korea helped to kill it. You have to wonder if the possibility of a nuclear-armed Taiwan, South Korea, and/or Japan would change Beijing’s attitude.