A US B-52 bomber landed in South Korea for the first time on Tuesday, after flying over Seoul Air Base to mark the start of the “largest” defense fair, the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023.
While B-52s have taken part in joint air exercises with the South Korean Air Force over the Korean Peninsula, this marked the first time one landed at a South Korean air base, state-run Yonhap News Agency reported.
“This exercise once again demonstrated the South Korean and US Air Forces’ outstanding combined operational capabilities and the US’ commitment to extended deterrence for the defense of the Republic of Korea,” a Korean armed service official said.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed to boost the nation’s defense industry competitiveness, calling it a success story.
“The country that once depended on assistance and imports has now leaped to the level of independently producing state-of-the-art fighter jets and exporting them,” Yoon said at the opening ceremony of the ADEX-2023.
This year’s ADEX is set to be the biggest one yet, with around 550 companies from 35 countries and 30,000 visitors joining the event. This includes more than 114 military and defense officials from 55 countries, making it the largest edition of the biennial event that started in 1996.
“The defense industry is a strategic national industry that supports national defense and the economy,” Yoon added.
Yoon also pointed out that this year’s ADEX will include US forces, showcasing the strong South Korea-US alliance.
South Korea’s own KF-21 fighter jet will perform a demonstration flight in its first public appearance. It will be accompanied by US military aircraft, such as the F-22 stealth jet, F-16 fighter jet, T-50 trainer jet, and U-2 spy plane, to mark the 70th anniversary of their alliance this year.
Kim Kwang Myong, a researcher at the Institute for Disarmament and Peace of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) Foreign Ministry, said the North will counter attempts by “hostile forces” for a “nuclear war” with an “overwhelming and decisive response strategy,” state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
Source : AA