The United States is set to deploy a B-52 bomber to South Korea on Wednesday for joint air drills with its Asian ally, sources said, in the latest show of force against North Korea.
South Korean fighter jets will escort the nuclear-capable bomber when it flies over South Korea later in the day, sources with knowledge of the issue said.
The B-52 bomber is returning to the country after less than a month, following its first-ever landing in South Korea on Oct. 17.
It will mark the allies' sixth joint drills this year involving the nuclear-capable bomber, one of the key US strategic assets.
The frequent deployments of high-profile military assets this year are seen as part of US' efforts to bolster its security commitment to South Korea amid North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.
During annual bilateral security talks Monday, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hailed the B-52's first landing in South Korea as "a milestone" for the US deterrence efforts and unveiled there will be "another carrier battle group that comes soon."
According to the sources, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is expected to dock at the Busan naval base early next week. (Yonhap)